In the United States, the predominant language is English. Most high schools today require at least 4 credits in a foreign language to graduate. Most colleges require at least 4 credits in a foreign language for admission. The downfall of the US education system is that foreign languages are typically only taught in high school, not in elementary or middle school, where they would be most beneficial.
In Europe, studying a foreign language is required in more than 20 European countries, typically starting between the ages of 6 and 9. Most adults in Europe speak at least two languages, with 38% of them being able to speak English. A part of this multilinguality might be due to the fact that in Europe, you can easily travel for only a few hours and end up in a country where they speak a different language. In the U.S., you have to go either to Canada or to Mexico to be in a location where English isn’t the dominant language. Either way, it is easy enough to hop on a plane and end up in a foreign country these days. With the world shrinking due to globalization, the likelihood that a US citizen is going to need to speak a second language in order to do business is increasing. Like it or not, English is not the most spoken language throughout the world, so the U.S. needs to start teaching a second language to its youth at an early age.