I have no idea why its compulsory in school, but I do know that there a many benefits to learning a new language. Some of these benefits are boosting brainpower and improving memory.
I personally believe that the main benefit, is being able to communicate with people who do not speak your native language. I’m pretty sure at some point in your life you will experience being in a surrounding where no one speaks English or you will be with someone who cant speak English. This moment, is the reason why we spend roughly 5 periods a week learning a language in school.
About a month ago, I was at a family event where majority of the people there spoke my country’s native language and only minimal English. I was the only person there who could speak a decent amount of french and actually hold up a conversation. There was a Kanak women ( native from New Caledonia). She couldn’t communicate with anyone because she couldn’t speak English.
With my half decent high school french, I spent most of the evening trying to converse with this woman. I’m not sure if she understood everything that I said and I definitely didn’t understand half of what she was saying but we were able to learn a lot about each other.
Looking back on the evening I was proud of what I could do. I was really happy to have been able to keep a conversation with the lady and make a nouvelle amie >_<. For this reason we learn new languages to be able to communicate with people and learn about their background and their cultures. We learn languages to become more open minded and understanding to people who cant speak our language.
As I said there are many benefits to learning a new language but in my opinion the main one is to be able to communicate with new people and get whatever message we have across to the other person even if it is asking the directions to the closest bathroom.