Speaking English is frustrating
The other day I met a girl working in "a cash check office". This is where illegal immigrants (usually from Mexico) come to cash their wages paid by checks because banks do not always cash checks for those who do not have accounts. I did not know her nationality until a car pulled in and a man walked in and spoke Vietnamese. Of course I joined the talk in Vietnamese. They began to realize I am their compatriot and showed their surprise at my English. They wondered why I spoke English without much of an accent when they knew I had just been in America for 4 weeks. Not that did they know I had before taken pains in so much as to assimilate my speech into what is called stantard American English. The girl told me she had graduated from Can Tho junior teaching College and had a hitch of 4 years teaching English in a junior High School in Phong Dien before she emigrated to States in 1990. She then admitted being frustrated with English speaking the first time she stopped over at Honolulu in Hawaii when she could not make herself understood, nor could she understand the others.
From that encounter, I started noticing how English being used among students, teachers. I found out that there are lots to be improved for Vietnamese learners of English to master the language. I myself am neither an educator nor a linguist. What I can see is the necessity that English be taught with practical uses at the very first level so that there are more English SPEAKers and fewer English SNEAKers.
Exposure to language environment is difficult for EFL learners, though.