Since arriving here in Belgium, I have been taking French lessons twice a week in classes that last 90 minutes each. When I arrived I took an assessment that placed me at an intermediate plus level. I had retained some of my high school and college French.
As I moved through the first semester of classes gradually what I had learned year ago started to return. When the new semester came and there weren't enough students at the intermediate plus level to offer that class so I was bumped up to the advanced class. This was more challenging but even still I was able to keep up with the grammar and just needed to work on expanding my vocabulary.
This year there weren't enough students for the advanced class which means that I was placed into the highest class the center is offering which I would call intermediate plus plus or low advanced. I've come to the conclusion that it matters little what level of grammar instruction I am receiving, what matters is that on a weekly basis I am speaking and practicing my French.
Most of the time when I am speaking French, I do so with ease. I can carry on basic conversations and even specialized ones (like about Allen's medical care). I don't translate my thoughts from English to French. If I am speaking French, my thoughts are in French (until I hit a word I don't know).
One of the things I am enjoying about learning French at this level is that I have begun to learn expressions and idioms. It is fun to throw them into a conversation and watch the reaction I get.
My two favorite expressions - fall in (amongst) the apples is a way of saying to faint. And if you have other things you need or want to do - you would say I have other cats to whip.
The biggest compliment I get when I am speaking French is when I am asked where I am from. Of course, I do not speak French like a native speaker, but my accent and ability to speak doesn't immediately identify me as American. So I am not overly butchering a language I have come to love speaking and will miss speaking when we return to the US.