Heck, I had four years of spanish in high school and a semester in college, plus I went to Rocky Point almost every summer with my aunt and uncle who have a house down there...and none of that prepared me for being married into a Mexican family. My ex-husband is from Hermosillo, MX, and his parents don't speak much English, so I had to work on my spanish. Watching telenovelas is a GREAT way to learn and begin understanding spanish. My ex-in-laws were wonderful about not laughing when I'd butcher a sentence in spanish...because at least I was trying.
The problem I have is that I am so not confident about my verb conjugations (one word for those...EVIL!) that I try not to speak spanish if I can help it. I can understand spanish great, even when they're speaking rapidly (it's really disconcerting to spanish-speakers when you laugh at the joke they just told or something they just said lol). And when I *DO* pluck up the courage to speak, I usually do pretty well and my accent is great. But, I think I suck, so I don't usually speak.