The fact that so few Americans are fluent in other languages puts us at a disadvantage. What if you want to study abroad? What if you have a business partner who is Russian? What if you need help from someone who can’t speak your language? As a society we think everyone visiting the good old US of A should speak perfect English or “go the hell back where they came from.” Then we go trotting off to other countries expecting them to cater to our needs and speak our language.
A solution to this issue could be making it obligatory that students pick a foreign language to study the entire time they’re in school. Other countries do it, and there is much to be learned by their example.
Language is everything. It’s how we express ideas, make friends, and change the world. If America placed as much importance on appreciating other cultures as it does on math, we could truly live up to our name as the greatest country in the world.