A while back, I watched the movie The Terminal and the main character played by Tom Hanks learns to speak fluent English while he is stranded in the airport for more than a year. Which seems somewhat superfluous as I was of the opinion that picking up a new language when you grow older is not easy. But Tom Hanks' character manages to speak English quite fluently given his background.
Dr Martha Young-Scholten of University of Newcastle mentions that the movie accurately describes how someone would acquire a second language under naturalistic exposure:
Misrepresentations of complex issues such as adult second language (L2) acquisition are rife in the news media; one does not expect Hollywood to differ. Yet the 2004 film The Terminal (2004) gets it right. Stranded in a NY airport for a year, Tom Hanks’ character accurately depicts the early stages of acquisition and demonstrates how ample naturalistic exposure leads to advanced L2 proficiency. Hollywood also manages cultural nuances; initial communication fails because the authorities assume Hanks is attempting to immigrate when his purpose is one of pilgrimage.
If an individual is forced to use a language he is almost unfamiliar with, would it help him make significant progress in acquiring that language, regardless of his age?