At school I, like many others, sat through 5 years of French, and I had a smattering of German too. I can order a beer in both languages, and I do have a vague idea, but mainly down to lack of use both at the time of learning and ever since. Lots of experts in the area agree that to get a grasp of multiple languages, you should learn one when you are young, because its not so much about which language, but about the ability to do so, and to use it. Inspired by the Times online survey about if we should bother with the Welsh language anymore, it got me thinking that perhaps English Schools have got it wrong and they should be using and promoting Welsh as their first foreign language choice.
Now, obviously Welsh has recently much higher up my agenda since we moved here and I have been attempting (not with huge success I have to admit) to learn Welsh. But this is what prompted my thinking in this vein, I came on holiday to wales much more than I ever did France or Germany, therefore if I had been learning Welsh early enough, then I would have had much more chance to speak it and it to be much more embedded.
Combine this with tighter budgets at schools, household incomes meaning that a UK holiday is more likely and easier for families, then add in day trips, business trips, those who live on the border and finally those who ahve done what we ahve done and moved here.
Once you have Welsh as an early first Foreign language then other languages would be easier to pick up, so everyone is a winner.
PS: And as it seems nothing can be talked about without mentioning Brexit, going Welsh first would mean we are not relying on the EU for our supplies of foreign languages.