When i recall my time in school, which i left in summer 1982 at age of 19, it was not a joke
we started 8.00 and most days we ended 14.00, one day at 16.00 (it was an agreement to stay longer Monday to Friday for not going to school on Saturday)
in 5th grade we had to learn English (it was a must, not a choice), in 7th grade we could decide between French and Latin as a second language; as for my English teacher ( i didn't like this guy, but he was also the teacher for French) i decided for Latin - a good choice later on, we were able to speak this "dead" language like it was our mothertongue (and even after years i had no problems understanding the movie "Passion of Christi", which is in Latin and Hebrew with subtitles) - but English was a must and all things, where is a must, are not easy. I finished school with 9 years of English lessons and was not able to understand English people in pubs and bars, as in school we only learned to understand newspapers, official texts, got all the grammar rules and vocabulary, you need to read instruction books - but not, how to talk to common people in pubs. My English teacher waved me good-bye with these words: "do me a favor and stay in Germany, never work in foreign companies and tell nobody, i tried to teach you a language."
In this time the first home computers appeared on the markets and the good magazines were written in English, also most of the programs and games were only available in English. Additionally we wanted to understand, what the guys and girls in the music scene sang about (German music in this time was poor, besides some guys who only made instrumental. So i had to recall all the Englisch lessons again and add new vocabulary. Then my first job was in French company - English was the business language; second job was in an American company with subsidiaries in UK, France, Ireland and Japan - guess the language...
There i met a woman, chief of logistics, boss of 5.000 people and that's what Lynn said:"you know, we Americans are simple - it is enough if we know, what you want us to do and that you do, what we want you to do. we don't care about grammer and words, we care about the work. If you don't know the right word, take another or tell it the long way around." Then i went to a Turkish company and now i'm employed in a Slovakian company with Polish factories, Russian CEO and Turkish boss.
What me helped a lot to survive in these companies was watching movies and TV in origin (as most the translation is too bad - German guys will agree, if they ever saw a translated Monty Python movie) and starting conversation to English people (or in English language), mostly chat conversations are very helpful and i asked my chat partners to correct me, to help me finding the right words. And even after years Lynn was right: it's not the word, that matters, it's the sense behind.
And talking these foreign languages will help to get better and better - so if you want to learn a language, talk to the people, they will help you, don't be afraid, nobody will laugh about you for wrong grammar...