You are told in high school that you need to learn a foreign language. It is a requirement. You might take a couple years or more of Spanish or maybe even French or Italian. In college, you might take a semester or two more of the language and to your surprise, years later, or even right after college, you realize you wouldn't last a day in South America without a translator.
Why is it that we are required to learn a language in school when we don't remember it anyway? Remembering and being able to use the language takes time, work, and correct instruction. Often how we learn in high school is not the best way to retain a language. On top of that, most of us aren't really interested in learning and study just enough for the tests. While the schools aren't very effective in teaching us foreign languages, they are on the right track by having it as a requirement.
Globalization Our world today has become more globalized than ever. We rely on each other not only within our country, but between nations. Many American companies do business abroad and companies from other nations do business with us. Also, communication between nations has become easier and more efficient because of the internet. As we travel more and have more foreign people coming in for visits and immigration, we find that we need to learn other languages for better communication. A lot of Americans aren't okay with immigrants coming to our country without being able to speak English and still never learning it.
It is very frustrating trying to communicate with someone who doesn't speak your language. I'm not saying that we should all learn Spanish because many Spanish-only-speakers are moving to our country and we should accommodate them. I'm just saying that as we aren't okay with them not speaking our language, when we come into contact with people of other nationalities, they are not okay with us speaking only English.
Travel If you love to travel, you will find that speaking their language will help you a lot. As a world traveler, learning 30 or more languages for all the countries you visit is not practical, but knowing even just one may get you by in a few countries and will help for a more enjoyable experience. You will have an advantage over your fellow English-only-speaking American travelers when you need to communicate.
Your Career In many careers, especially some business careers, knowing another language is necessary. If you know one more language than someone else applying for the same job, you may get the job just because of that. In a career driven world, we do whatever we can to be ahead of the pack and speaking a second, third, or even fourth language might just be that one thing that gets us the job.
Now that you know the advantages to learning a second language, you can learn more about learning a foreign language and for tools and tips, go to LearnLotsofLanguages.com.