Of the current 50 states, only 12 require at least two years in a foreign language, with New Jersey requiring five. The global perception of the average American student as an uncultured and unaware individual is only propagated by this sort of fact. With America as the colloquial Melting Pot of the world, it makes little sense that most students are only proficient in the language they are born speaking; only a small percentage of most college students are enrolled in foreign language, most of those European. Only one in four to five Americans, on average, speak a foreign language at home. To this extent, with certain Asian languages, such as Mandarin, due to the population of China, becoming more common place (French as well), it only makes sense that the American citizen, as a global citizen, should be fluent in at least one of the major languages such as French, German, Spanish, or Chinese (the latter, of course, would be a program that would have to start incredibly early with most students to become even half-fluent in it). While English is undeniably an important language, it should not be the only language which most students rely on when they go out into the world, and for this matter, learning a language can be an invaluable experience, socially and mentally, in the same way as advanced mathematical subjects are, even if they do not seem immediately important to most students, who profess that it will not be relevant to their careers later on. Having access to a second language gives students an automatic edge when searching for a job, and a new branch of access when they travel to foreign countries, as they will no longer be reliant on what they are simply told, but are able to experience through having learned this second language.
Communication is a key in our globally connected world. The ability to easily commune with many people; including those who speak languages other than your own is vital. There is no argument there. However, there are several other easy alternatives to teaching it to the point of fluency in school. First, though, there are reasons to consider as flaws in requiring fluency in a second language to graduate. Students who want or need to learn how to be fluent in a second language can use their own time, and seek out other ways to do so. Students would find themselves in a better environment to learn that second language, rather than be limited by fellow classmates' possible reluctant and unwilling attitude to the new learning area. To further argue my point that it is simply not necessary, as our world evolves, we find it sometimes a better option to use machinery and technology rather than humans in many activities. Technological translators are readily available for use by those who need them, so why not use them? With this option available, we don't need to be wasting time and money by requiring people to be at least bilingual before graduating. It is simply unnecessary.
Well it really depends on the student and what they want. It depends on what the student wants to become and where they want to go. I agree that the world is becoming more globalised and that it and more interactions will occur but it shouldn't be compulsory to graduate. It should be compulsory in primary but it shouldn't be for graduation. The time spent may be used on other studies like a bio, physics, law or anything else.