DELTA teachers FAQ

  • How can I use the DELTA in my teaching?
    The DELTA is designed to be an assessment and tracking tool and is primarily for students' own use, though teachers can have access to their students' reports and the more general data on the performance of students by class, department, faculty, etc. The extent of this access depends on the policy of the individual institution.
    Teachers can 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.


  • 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 do we know that the DELTA is measuring language proficiency?
    DELTA test items are developed by panels of experts in English language teaching and assessment who identify the particular sub skills being addressed in each item. Ongoing studies are carried out in which feedback is sought from student test takers and teachers to reconfirm the validity of the test items.


  • 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 Reports be used by teachers and students?
    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 I help my students improve their DELTA score?
    Teachers can work closely with their students to help them establish individualized learning pathways based on the diagnostic feedback in the DELTA Reports. Teachers can also help their students to select the appropriate learning materials to address their relative areas of weakness. Any work or practice that students do to improve their English proficiency will reflect in an improved DELTA score.


  • How does the DELTA measure growth in students' language proficiency?
    As students progress through their university studies they take various English courses and are graded on them. However, there is no way that progress can be measured as the standards to which they are graded change with them. The DELTA measures growth in real terms as students' proficiency is measured on the same common scale each time they take the Assessment.


  • Why is test security of the DELTA important?
    Although the DELTA is not designed for 'high stakes' purposes, specific teaching and learning decisions are made by institutions based on the results. It is therefore important to maintain test security of the DELTA and to ensure that the validity of the system is not compromised. Teachers should not disclose any test items to their students and should carefully monitor students when invigilating the DELTA in a computer lab.


  • How does a DELTA score compare with other measures?
    Accurate comparisons of scores on one assessment with those on another assessment, scale or framework require large sets of empirical data and expert judgement procedures. Such procedures are part of the ongoing development and quality assurance programs of the DELTA and once completed the results will be made available to students, teachers and other stakeholders.


  • How can I get more information for myself or my students about any aspect of the DELTA system?
    For more information on the DELTA, contact the English Language Testing Unit.
  • What will I do if I'm an invigilator?
    Click here to view the invigilator's notes.
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