Barbara, my father's first language is French, my mom speaks it fluently, but they were determined to NOT have their kids suffer from the confusion of a second language at home (my father definitely did), so spoke it only when they didn't want us kids to know what they were talking about. (For our Canadian friends, my parents' families were what my husband jokingly refers to as "frost-backs"). I can pretty much read brochures and do about 1st or 2nd grade level things in French, but can't speak it or actually understand it at all when it is spoken at what is a normal speed. When I travelled in Quebec, one phrase I learned before I left (several of my friends are native speakers) was, "speak to me as if I was five years old!". It was a huge hit.
My sister married a Puerto Rican man. At one point she told me that everyone should learn Spanish, it is the future. I cracked up. She'd barely, and I do mean barely, passed her college requirements for foreign language. Spanish. When she was living with this man. They have definitely NOT taught their kids Spanish. Finally I told her, "XXXX, I have taken 4 years of French, one of German, and a semester of Spanish, which, I might add, I got an "A" in. I can say hello, good bye, please, thank you in a half dozen other languages. So give your lecture to someone who doesn't think a second language is important."
I do wish we offered second languages more consistently at a very early age. I think it trains your mind in different ways. And when you might, at an older age, need to learn another language, my experience is that it is easier to learn another language if you learned a second language as a child.
What little French I do know, in spite of a speech impediment (which isn't there in English, but prevents me from pronouncing a French "r" correctly) I have, in spite of not having gone to France since I was 3 years old, used to its ultmost. If nothing else, I entertained a French-speaking northern African man by telling him about my problem with "r" and then, to add to that, telling him that I can't even say my own name correctly (I have something like 5 Rs in my full, very French, name).