My native country is England, and I believe others already went into the basic system in the UK. I learnt French from age 11-16 and German from 12-14. I didn't really retain a lot of French, and hardly even a few phrases of German. I now live in Iceland and the kids here first start learning Danish at school. That is the 'official second language' according to the schooling system. Of course this is pretty ridiculous and the reasons are entirely historical. Iceland has been independent from Denmark since 1944, but they still have a tendency to think of Denmark as more important to Iceland than other countries. In reality, English is the second language in Iceland. It is also compulsory at school, although introduced after Danish. I think most kids also learn a third foreign language later, but they have a lot more choice there (it would be another European language, though - French, German, Spanish or another Nordic language). I think some schools are starting to introduce English before Danish now, which is more pragmatic. Most Icelanders I know speak terrible Danish, if any Danish at all (much like my French) but speak very good English. If an average Icelander and an average Dane met, they would almost definitely speak English together, not Danish.