At the very end of the article, this caught my eye.
Many of the difficulties that Japanese learners have with English are not due to problems with the language itself but are more the result of cultural differences. Communication between any two people in Japan is heavily influenced by aspects such as age, sex, relationship and relative status. The Japanese generally have an aversion to assertiveness and seek to avoid embarrassment to themselves and their interlocutor. There is a respect for abstraction which is alien to many plain-speaking Westerners. All of this can cause Japanese learners to struggle to find the best way to express themselves and result in the production of English that native speakers may find excessively vague or tentative.
As a learner of English, I have experienced this. I've found myself in the awkward situations again and again, and struggles to express myself clearly. My husband says "If you want to speak better English, just make friends and practice!" Well, it's not that easy. Making friend isn't that easy when you struggle to communicate.
I attended ESL classes at college in the States which taught me all aspect of English language. After coming to Canada, I took courses to improve my English. I took private lessons on pronunciation, a online course on American pronunciation.
Last year I took Linguisticator online course (which I highly recommend to anyone seriously interested!) which took my language learning to a whole new level.
These are my Language goals for this year that will help me close the gap between me and native speakers of English.
I will read what people read. I will read classic literature.
I will write with care.
I will talk more, I will loosen up my facial muscles.
I will listen to the rhythm and speed of the language.
I will watch more films with intent of learning.
I will pay attention to the history behind the language.
I will make connections so I can retain the information.
I will look up words.
I will look for more opportunities to speak up.
I will be bold!
These are other things that I will do to keep learning fun and interesting.
I will commit to teach my kids Japanese.
I will learn other languages, and I will have fun doing it!
I'm sure there will be bumps and bruises along the way, but I will do it!