Mmm, to be honest, I don’t know if I would call it modesty because they aren’t wrong. Many professors complain about their presentation skills, and I’ve had students failed for this reason. However, in terms of written work product in English they are at graduate level and presumably in terms of listening since they do understand the material. They just have incredibly thick accents and are weaker than others at speaking and organizing ideas in speech. (This is an incredibly difficult skill after all).
Look, at the end of the day, I am a professional linguist, and I do not support the word because no linguists that I know can agree on it and generally, when I talk with students or with hiring committees, or with colleagues, they typically don’t use fluent to mean what they think it means. They usually are looking for something in particular and don’t care about near-nativeness. I should have elaborated, but my intent was simply to make the person recognize that they need to break down their study based on their intentions. Note - in their original post they never said anything about fluency, that was all me so it wasn’t a diss at them. Instead it seems to have been taken as a diss by everyone else. I used it because it’s a typical catch all and assumed that’s what they were going for, but targeting fluency may not be helpful to them in breaking down their study. If general improvement (which is a better goal than “fluency” in my opinion) is the goal, then looking at their weakest area and devoting 40% of study to that and an even break to everything else is my opinion. Fluency isn’t specific enough end of story.
As I said, the original poster didn’t say they wanted to be fluent, that was all me. I used it to articulate why they needed to be more specific in telling us their goals not to just answer something like “I want to be fluent”, in order to get a better study regiment.
This next thing will probably come across as petty, thanks to how text goes versus speech, but it’s really not intended to be. I wouldn’t have an opinion on how to be good at golf as I have no knowledge in that subject matter. I have a masters in applied linguistics from Columbia. I am literally a paid expert in getting people better at language. It would be like if UCLA’s golf coach happened to read your post about golf, I would hope that they would have you go more into strokes or whatever (I don’t know golf) and get deeper.