Ask nearly any French person if they speak a foreign language and you get a repsonse along the lines of "Well, I've studied English for 8 (or 9 or 10!) years but you know the French suck at foreign languages."
And actually, to be fair, most of them don't have a level of ease in English that should correspond to the number of hours spent in English class, but it's not their fault. Until university, languages are not taught to be spoken. Seriously. Communication is not the goal. Writing, translation, and lofty literary texts have been the cornerstones of language pedagogy here for years. Centuries, even. Although recent times has seen a serious wateringing down of the lofty thing. I believe a
Those who go to university get a slightly more practical version of English, depending on what their main course of study is. And people who go into fields where English is necessary (especially those who study in specialized universities or private colleges) finally get language classes like they should be, more or less.
Then everyone enters the work world and some of that everyone need English to work. Those who got some good instruction after high school get by. And those who didn't, well, they sign up for private lessons at the Chamber of Commerce or a private language school and start all over again, all the time thinking the reason they don't speak it well is because they suck. Poor things.