While it's ususally the Brits who are chastised for their lack of language ablity, it seems that our friends accross the pond are even worse. According to the National Council for Languages and International Studies
in Washington, only 44% of American high school students are enrolled in foreign language classes, only 31% of elementary schools even offer foreign languages and less than 8% of US undergraduates study a foreign language. What's even more startling is that according to the 2000 census, only 9% of Americans can speak a foreign language compared with 50% of Europeans. Against the backdrop of a global marketplace, it seems that the UK and US have a lot of work to do!