Many of my students have studied English for years but still lack confidence in their ability to use it outside a classroom.
Instead of teaching yet more grammar theory and vocab exercises, I encourage students to make use of what they already have on topics which are relelvant to them, such as work or hobbies and interests.
Reading something that you would want to read in your own language gives you a purpose that you don't get from a standard lesson plan. Writing in a context that you might use for work makes the language relevant in a way that doesn't happen in a standard lesson plan. And you might be able to use it the next day. In both cases you will be using vocab that is relevant to you and in context, helping you remember it more easily.
I don't ignore grammar, but deal with problems as they come up, and in context. If necessary, we may spend a class or two dealing with something that causes particular difficulty.
Prior to becoming a language teacher in 2002 I had spent 24 years working as a lawyer in private practice and in the consultancy and insurance industries. This included working closely with HR departments both in the UK and abroad, including due diligence exercises, and researching for the EU Commission.
I had previously qualified as a journalist and wrote for the specialist trade press while a lawyer. I also regularly prepared and presented seminars using PowerPoint.
I spent 11 years in Spain and I understand from personal experience the difficulties older language students can have. It's just a question of not giving up!