DELTA institutions FAQ

  • What does the DELTA system measure?
    The DELTA measures English language proficiency by testing students in listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary. The overall proficiency is reported by means of a DELTA Measure, which is a scaled score (out of 200). Individual component scores in listening, reading, grammar and vocabulary are reported relative to the DELTA Measure so that students can see in which of the components they are relatively stronger or weaker compared to their overall proficiency. For each component, there are a number of subskills that are tested and each item tests a different subskill at a different level of difficulty. Whether a student gets an item correct is reflected in the student's DELTA Report and provides a breakdown of the student's strengths and weaknesses in the language subskills.


  • How does the DELTA system help the teaching-learning process?
    The DELTA is a measurement of English language proficiency that is tracked over a period of time and as such has not been designed specifically for classroom teaching purposes. The DELTA can be a useful learning tool for students, especially if teachers work closely with their students to help them establish individualized learning pathways based on the diagnostic feedback in the DELTA Reports. By discussing the Report with their teacher, students can prioritise areas for self-study. Teachers can also help their students to select the appropriate learning materials to address their relative areas of weakness.


  • How can the DELTA be incorporated into the new four-year curriculum?
    The extent to which the DELTA is incorporated into the curriculum is obviously dependent on the needs and policies of each individual institution. As a diagnostic and tracking assessment, the DELTA can be used in a number of ways, for example: as a compulsory requirement for all students to take each year; for students taking particular programmes to take upon entrance and exit; or as a voluntary assessment linked to self-access language learning. In some institutions, specific teaching and learning decisions may be made based on the results, as growth reports on a programme, department or faculty basis will be available. For further information on how the DELTA can be used, go to DELTA for Teaching & Learning on this website.


  • How can I get more information about any aspect of the DELTA system?
    For more information on the DELTA, contact the English Language Testing Unit.


  • Can we have a system trial?
    Yes, please contact Dr Alan Urmston at ecalanu@polyu.edu.hk or 27667554.
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