I put it off for years, just knew enough to get by, and then I took the plunge. Went to a school for a year (part time but did a ot of work alone), and then did another year with private teachers. It wasn't easy but after two years I was finally able to have normal conversations with people on pretty much any subject. I had no Thai g/f to practise with and my two Thai friends at the tine spoke English with American accents (that's how fluent they were/are) so had little patience to speak with me n Thai at first. So, I had to really go out of my way to engage people regularly every day to practise. I started taking a lot of taxis and became the annoying chatty passenger!! But it all paid off. It changed my life here leaps and bounds but I can understand anyone being reluctant to take on a second language with the aim reaching a high level of fluency. It's tough, but is rewarding in the end.