If you're trying to decide whether to get your TESOL, TEFL, TESL, or CELTA certification, read this article I wrote at ESL101.com. It can help clear up some of your confusion.
TESL, TEFL, TESOL, CELTA - Which ESL Teaching Certification Is Right For You?
In: Can be used for months, years, decades, centuries, seasons, and the future.
1.) I will go to university in September.
2.) I went to university in 1993.
3.) I went to university in the 1980’s.
4.) I went to university in the late 20th century.
5.) I go to university in the fall.
6.) I will go to the store in a few minutes. Note that this use of “in” is in the future, but it is for a shorter period than the other examples.
At: Can be used for particular times.
1.) I will go to the store at 5:30.
2.) I go to the store every day at midday.
3.) I go to the store on Tuesdays at lunchtime.
4.) I go to the store at sunset.
5.) I go to the store at night. Note that we do not say “at day.” Instead, we say, “during the day.”
6.) I go to the store at Thanksgiving to buy enough food for the meal.
7.) British English usage: I go to the store at the weekend. American English would say, “on the weekend.”
On: Can be used for days and dates
1.) I like to go to parties on Fridays.
2.) I am excited to go to the party on January 19.
Check out these sites for some online practice! Then try making your own sentences using these prepositions.
It's simple. Believe in yourself.
Talk to a clerk at the store. Call a friend from class to talk on the phone. Find a volunteer conversation partner through a local nonprofit or religious organization. Join an adult English class in your community. (Many of them are cheap or free.) Join iTalki or MyLanguageExchange and find a conversation partner in exchange for giving lessons in your native language. Work with a private tutor to build your confidence. You can even talk to yourself in English out loud for 10 minutes a day! (No one will know or laugh.)
Set aside 15 minutes a night with your roommates, husband, or wife, and speak nothing but English. . .even if the other person doesn't understand what you're saying. My daughter is learning Spanish, and I talked to her for a few minutes yesterday in that language, using lots of body language to help her understand that I was telling her to get her coat, put on her shoes, and socks, and get ready to go. She is four, but she understood everything I was telling her because I was pointing at my shoes and socks, etc.
Record yourself speaking English, and then listen to it. I know this sounds crazy and embarrassing, but it is a great way to identify your own errors. Record yourself again on your computer, smart phone, tape player, etc., and listen to how much you've improved. Time yourself speaking on a topic to see if you can speak faster if you tend to speak slowly.
If you're about to take the IELTS exam, in addition to working with a teacher to help you do well, try these tips: