Very nice article!
When we were expats in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, my wife and I didn’t learn much of the language (French) - a lost opportunity. We resolved to do better on our current assignment in France. Learning the language has been hard but immensely satisfying.
What helped us most was finding language partners — French people who wanted to learn English and were at about the same level of skill as we were in French. Regular conversation with people who tolerated our limitations (because they had them too) led to rapid learning and, even better, friendships.
Here’s a little more on learning a new language as an adult: http://tinyurl.com/zgxn5px