Now a days, there are multiple language classes that start in high school and a lot of colleges require at least 2 years of a foreign language to get in. However, it gets significantly harder to learn new languages the older you get. At my school anyways, so many kids dropped Spanish 1 after the first semester because it can be difficult to pick up a new language plus all of the regular homework the typical high school kid gets can get to be a lot for a teenager. If we started to teach foreign languages as a requirement when children are still young, they would be so much less ignorant about people who come to America speaking different languages and with all of the people that do come to the US that speak different languages, we'll already know how to communicate with them besides using English.
Studies have shown that the more well versed an individual is with multiple languages, the more intelligent they are.
It behooves us to be multi-lingua, not just to cultivate intelligence, but to help children understand the value of cultural empathy and critical thinking.
Further, learning other languages helps individuals see the anthropological similarities between different cultures.
I don't think that you can require the learning of another language, but I do believe that you could, and should, encourage it. The more languages that Americans are exposed to, the more culturally aware we would be as a nation. Perhaps the result would be that our international reputation would improve. However, there would have to be a national objective for this: the government could offer incentives to individuals that are fluent in multiple languages.
Communication is the foundation of peace. Communication is the foundation of prosperity. Communication is the foundation of progress. There is absolutely no reason why a superpower should be so xenophobic as to refuse to encourage the learning of other languages not only to ensure it's own survival but to produce an even greater sense of community in the globe and to provide a greater sense of commonality for the future goals of humanity.
I'm a student nearly done with college and I would find this crazy that our education system says we need to learn another language. I'm a science major and my brain is full of math, science and computer science courses and trying to learn another language will be just too much. I do not have the time to spend studying another language. I remember Obama said this ,"I agree that immigrants should learn English. But instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English -- they'll learn English -- you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish ." This is not going to fly in the US. People who come to this country must learn English. If I go to Japan then I must learn Japanese, if I go to Russia then I must learn Russian and the list goes on.
No, English will be my only language.
My mother language is dutch (I'm from belgium) and I had to learn both french and english. I'm mainly happy I can communicate in english. If I could speak only dutch, my world would be a lot smaller.
I think everyone should be able to speak at least 1 world language (english, chinese, ...).
So if your mother language is a world language, you're probably fine, unless you plan on moving to a country where they don't speak much of it. But if your mother language is a less-spoken language, then there is a lot of oppurtinity in learning a world language.