Why not learn Italian instead, at least there are tons of people you can talk to, newspapers you can buy.. unlike French and German which are rarely heard here.
I wholeheartedly support the idea of learning Italian, but French and German are definitively more useful.
What worked for me was to find something I'm interested in on the internet (for motivation) and then to read a lot.
The next step was was to find a place where I could communicate in English. That's why I'm here
Everything is a question of pratice, regular practice, and motivation.
That's pretty much how I see it. I learned English in school, and used it extensively in university, but it was always "academic" English: pretty stiff and inexpressive.
This place is the reason my written English sounds pretty natural. If only I could translate this proficiency into spoken English!