It seems like almost everyone that I meet over here in Italy can speak like fifty different languages. Not actually, but you have to look hard to find someone that isn't at least bilingual. If people all around the world are doing it, then why can't we spend extra time throughout our lives being taught another language from an early age? It might take a little bit of a change in school curriculum, but it is an attainable goal.
If we started from the time we were in kindergarten, learning in bilingual classrooms, by the time we would graduate, every single kid would have a great handle on second language. In gifted programs, if students excel in two languages already, they would be able to add another to their vocabulary. This would be a great way to catch the United States up on a category that we definitely fall behind on.
Sure, if we only stayed isolated in the United States, this shouldn't be a problem, but for any people who have plans to spend time in different countries, this provides a serious handicap. There has been multiple times already where I have tried to buy something or communicate with someone who doesn't speak English, and have had a tough time getting through it. But, even domestically, we are becoming a more diverse country every year, and eventually we won't be able to avoid learning new languages.
Me when I asked if they had milk at a store and the cashier didn't speak English.
Seriously though, is there really anyone who wouldn't want to be able to speak another language? I don't understand why this hasn't taken off yet. Shouldn't we want to be more cultured? What's stopping us?