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Learning another language improves brain health, it improves your first language, helps you experience new cultures, and as the world is leaning toward different languages, it helps if you know a second language for better job opportunities. It should be a required class for at LEAST 2 years in high school.
Yes, I think a foreign language should be required, but I don't think many high school students would take a foreign language if it wasn't required. Being bilingual is a definite plus in today's world. Being fluent in a second language gives most people a definite edge in the job market because it makes them far more valuable.
When I was a high school student, I had no interest in learning another type of language. I didn't pay attention to any of the foreign language classes because I didn't see a specific need for it. As an adult however I wish I had paid better attention. Knowing how to speak multiple languages is not only helpful, it's needed in many every day activities in life now.
Yes, in today's reality, high school students should be required to master some form of bilingualism before graduating, because people need to know two languages to get a job in the real world today. Bilingualism is an amazing life skills. All students learned their first language, they are capable of learning their second.
In California, nearly half of all residents speak Spanish. In Canada, an entire province is filled with French speakers and all official government documents are bilingual. It would be a boon to all students graduating high school to master one of these languages, or another language of their choosing such as Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or Arabic. This would make our students competitive with Europe and the rest of the educated world by enabling them to conduct business and personal affairs in a broader way and opening up new career and scholastic opportunities.
High school curriculum these days are inadequate at meeting several basic needs in the lives of students. Among those are basic personal finance classes to name one, and to require bilinguialism would trade off with studying on other subjects. Without absolute immersion, it's impossible to test the abilities of the students anyway, and only those who are interested should be in the classes.