I would really appreciate any input and advice about my personal isse.
I came to North America from Egypt about 6 years ago. I'm not egyptian but have lived in egypt for few years. I used to attend church reguraly and was very close to the church. I knew some english before I came although I learnt most of my englsih during my 3 years of highschool. When I came here It was very difficult for me to keep my values and faith mostly due to peer pressure. I felt that It was important for me to have some friends, so that I can learnt the language. so I start having friends and tried to be more like them. I slowly decreased my church attendance and drifted from God. this continued for about 2 years.
After I graduated from highschool. I returned to the church, confessed and attempted to be close to the church. I purposely discontinue my contact with my friends, so that I won't remember my past sins and returnt them and also to aviod their negative influences.I descided not to have close friends because I was afraid of the negative influence I may get.
I was happy and content with myself till recently. but now there is something that troubles me. In the last 4 years I barely made any progress of speaking english. I use my native language more often. I go to school, come home,, study and at my spare time I enjoy spending time with family,reading bible, spiritual books or learning hymns. Therefore I don't really speak much english after school. even in school I notice that I'm unfamiliar about what my classmate talks about, so I don't have much to say.
so my speaking and prouncation is not geting better and I'm very concernd about that but don't really know how improve. I feel embarssed to say that I've been here for 6 years due to my poor spenglish speaking ability.
so what can I do to improve my english.
It helps, and it's really fun once you've built enough trust with the people to be willing to make mistakes and not feel ashamed about them. Remember: It's not your first language, so no one expects you to speak it perfectly. I studied Russian for about the same length of time that you've been in the USA, and I'm still at an intermediate level, for very similar reasons as you (I don't get to use it very often, now that I'm not in school).
I heard a lot of good things about Rosetta Stone, although probably not cheap. I'm currently trying to learn Arabic, and reading a lot seems to improve my fluency.
I think geomike should share his tips here since he managed to read like a 6th grader in a week! :o