I like to take one day early in the semester to bring some focus and intention to the language learning of my high school Spanish 1 and 2 students. This PowerPoint begins with the question, "Why are you here?" and attempts to help students see both the beauty and utility in learning a second language - particularly Spanish. I present information about the most spoken languages of the world and the US, discuss how language learning affects intellectual development, and also talk about economic incentives.
I find it to be a great discussion-starter, and it helps some students see beyond the standard, "I'm here because my Mom made me take this class." Enjoy!
Note: I'm aware that some of the data used with regard to population of language speakers both domestic and worldwide are a matter of some dispute. Many reputable organizations who provide data on language populations do not strictly agree with each other on specific figures -- but they do tend to be in the same ballpark. I used figures that came from responsible sources and cited my references, but please do keep in mind that such data is never 100% accurate, and is always a matter of debate between experts.