“In signing this Language Pledge®, I agree to use [Spanish, French, Chinese, German, Arabic] as my only language of communication while attending The Academy.”

The Academy Language Pledge® requires students and faculty to communicate in their target language at all times during the summer of study. This commitment to staying in language makes for a comfortable environment for everyone where students have fun and also learn from making mistakes through living in language.

Combined with the curriculum and cultural activities, the Language Pledge® drives the Academy’s immersion setting which formalizes our dedication to effective language practice for absolute beginners to advanced learners.

The Language Pledge®’s History

The Language Pledge® comes from a long history of tried and true immersion education. It has motivated students at Middlebury College’s famed Language Schools since the program began nearly a century ago.

In the summer of 1915, Middlebury College’s program originated with forty-one advanced students studying German. Schools of French, Spanish and Italian soon followed. These first language schools stressed the Pledge as an essential strategy in Middlebury’s vision of language learning; the Pledge was a promise that would challenge even advanced speakers.

With the support of native speakers and expert educators, Middlebury soon accepted novices to the summer session. Today, students of all levels enter the Language Schools and make significant progress in their fluency. Current Middlebury language programs continue to emphasize adherence to the Pledge and call upon an international network of language experts to deliver powerful immersion experiences.

In 2008, Middlebury College made its summer learning experience available to pre-college students, and the Middlebury-Monterey Language Academy was founded. The Academy modifies the Language Pledge® for beginner students.

Download the complete Academy brochure for more information on the Language Pledge, key Academy dates, fees and FAQs.

What is it really like to take the Language Pledge?

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