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.
So, by what is presented in the movie as well as what Dr Martha has to say, does it mean that 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?