Learning a foreign language is all about communication and real life. One can obtain or improve a number of skills when becoming involved with a foreign language, especially if in an organised school environment. The younger the person is, the more likely it is for him to benefit from the techniques taught.
1. Development of speaking skills, communication techniques and getting the message across.
Speaking is a key element of learning a language. The extra difficulty in trying to get your ideas across in a foreign language can help the individual develop his ways of expression (rephrasing, body language, paying attention to the other speaker and responding in clarity etc). If you think of a student (especially a younger one) getting trained to pass an oral exam to get a language certificate, what better way for him to be trained to face in the future, say, a job interview?
2. Reading comprehension and analysis
One of the most common ways to study a foreign language is through exposure to a great variety of texts and a great many text-based exercises. There are times (this is actually the case in my country) when one gets more practice on reading and understanding skills through language learning than in school, where reading comprehension is underestimated. This is a skill which is valuable for your life, for any kind of job and also for someone to be able to be an active reader.
3. Writing production
The ability to produce a written text with the proper register, to the point, the right organisation of ideas and paragraphing is another skill which will be useful in everyday life as well as in a job. For instance,executives are often asked to produce presentations or other documents which must be of high standards. All these qualities of a written text are carefully taught when learning a language, as they are required when sitting an exam to get a language certificate.