Hello and thanks for opening this useful discussion.
So many times when I’ve been meeting people from other countries (online or in
person) -whose first languages are not English- speaking English fluently i
thought to myself what really went wrong for us Iranian that after that English
education workload we have passed through, as you said, it is not yet an
acceptable level of proficiency comparing to other nations.
I have some clues which are not necessarily the whole, but at least could be
partly explaining what the troubles are; now let me post them one by one gradually:
First of all, our language is totally different from English, when it
comes to grammar, sentence structures and even the script! You know, western
people sometimes get shocked seeing us writing from right to left! But this is
not the case for many countries like European nations who have a very similar
language to English, and even the way they express their feelings are so alike.
Their alphabets (and therefore whole letters, voices and many wolves) are
exactly the same as English or in the worst case, slightly different. Many linguists believe that
a number of western languages are in fact some variants of another language
which was the common route for English as well. Now, when you look at eastern
or Japan for example, people from this part of the world whose languages have
nothing to do with English, are at a lower English command compared to
Iranians, both written and spoken. So this is the main reason I suppose, our
mother tongue -the lovely Persian- is faraway from English, making it problematic
for us to straightforwardly get skilled in it .