It can be SO annoying to live in an Anglicized world - even being an English-speaker myself. For instance:
>> At my school, there are two foreign exchange students from Brazil who are not very good with English. When they met each other, they quickly grew close and now walk around speaking Portuguese together. There's nothing wrong with that, of course; but now this whole body of English-speakers - my school - has a moral crisis on its hands (in that the exchange students don't feel welcome), and the two girls can't do a thing to make their own situations here better except muddle through the daily onslaught of spoken English.
>> I was looking for overseas universities I might be interested in (for the very reason of learning foreign languages), and I had such a hard time with the non-English websites. Even the ones that had English versions of the webpages were hard to navigate. (And, of course, using Google to translate is usually not a good idea considering its inacurracy.)
...Anyway.... My examples of language issues are two less serious ones. What you noted, about English becoming more and more expected worldwide, is the big dilemma underlying it all. Not only does Anglicization put a burden on non-Anglophone peoples, but it also isolates the English-speakers themselves. You see, in America, there are few primary and secondary schools that emphasize foreign languages; and the ones that do, often include only ones such as Spanish, French, German and Latin. What about the non Latin-based languages of the Orient and Arabia, or Russia? Those languages which derive from outside of Europe tend to be taught only in our universities, which, of course, can only be accessed by people who can pay for it.
I believe that all the major developed countries, and any places where many cultures cross, should have an educational standard of teaching every child at least two other languages. This should start in the early grades - no later than age seven - so that by the time a kid gets older, he or she will have a basis for further linguistic study if he or she chooses.
Unfortunately, in America right now, most people simply don't expect one another to speak anything other than English - which is unfortunate, considering that this country was once described as a "melting pot," a place where people could come from all over the world and live as one.
So, I agree with you that English ability is coveted too much. I think true internationalization will not happen until people of all cultures commit to learning the languages of their brothers and sisters around the world.