I saw many immigrants in NYC through my internship. Some immigrants can speak English well, others can’t speak it well; some can’t speak even basic English even though they have lived here for a long time. I am going to write my theory about this difference.
It’s not easy and it takes a long time to learn a foreign language. People should be patient as possible as they can to study it; people always have to make mistakes while learning a language. The study sometimes makes people ashamed of their mistakes. In addition to this difficulty, immigrants live harshly; it’s difficult for them to have time to study English.
I know that almost all immigrants aren’t rich. However, some immigrants try to learn English. They spare no effort to educate themselves. Once people decide to study English, they can find some good opportunities in NYC. There are free English classes and chances of language exchange. Textbooks are not cheap, but not expensive. My guess is that immigrants, who have continued to study English and know the importance of learning, can speak English.