i feel sad and tired when people (mainly americans and brits, in my experience) complain about their countries’ language education system from the point of view of “we should start younger so then we can get fluent quicker”
like the age at which you start has totally nothing to do with it for us
it’s a deeply flawed and undervalued system viewed as being difficult and pointless and people becoming AWARE of that almost turns it into a self fulfilling prophecy, like they can just use the language educational system as a perfect excuse for any and all shortcomings in their language learning skills
i got into a kinda disagreement with a couple of people from my course last year when the UK was trying to go on about reintroducing language education in primary school - they were of the opinion that “the younger you start the better you’ll be” and honestly that’s so simplistic and naive. We already don’t have enough language teachers to properly cope with the, what, three to five compulsory years of language lessons in secondary school? And not just the quantity of teachers but also the quality - from what I’ve seen, many of them are underqualified and are trying to teach languages they don’t properly speak themselves (at a very low level so they ‘get away’ with it) - if kids start learning earlier and get to secondary school already with some language knowledge down, in many places they’ll find the standard of the teaching can’t keep up as they progress through the school system
but again it all falls down to attitude and just tacking on a few extra years won’t fix that. you have to WANT language learning, even with a ton of classes it won’t just happen automatically. Here in France they have somewhere in the vicinity of seven compulsory years of English classes (+ a second language for a few years too), which is better than the UK and pretty reasonable, yet the general standard of English isn’t really great. Those who do speak it well are the ones who have wanted to and who have gone out and learnt more and more themselves outside of class.
Anglophone privilege and arrogance and air of superiority and ardent monolingualism is a pretty important issue and people reducing it to “if we started learning languages in school a couple of years earlier it’d be fine” makes me pretty uncomfortable tbh because it just misses and distracts from the point