I saw a report on Sky News yesterday about the languages spoken by British people. The most common foreign language was French followed by German and Spanish (can’t remember the order). The report also included a segment about schools starting to teach mandarin which, apparently, is the most spoken language in the world.
The report also said that speaking other languages would become more important after Brexit - seems bizarre to link the two but adds to the newsworthiness (is that a word!?) of the report I imagine. Why do they think that people around the world will refuse to speak English because the UK is no longer in the EU?
Anyway, the attitude to learning another language if you are an English speaker is bound to be different to speakers of other languages. For English speakers there is no obvious choice of language to learn. We generally learn French at school in the UK because it’s the nearest neighbour but most people won’t ever use it. The common world language is English and is the obvious second language choice so it’s spoken everywhere. The Germans, Dutch and Belgians I meet when I’m working don’t speak French but they all speak very good English and so the site manager is required to speak English. Even the French holidaymakers speak English and want to practice when they hear an English accent. It’s understandable that Brits (and other English speakers) often have an ambivalent attitude to learning other languages.