Arabic Language Academy Students in Class

History of the Language Pledge

The Language Pledge® comes from a long history of tried-and-true language immersion education.

The Language Pledge® has motivated students at Middlebury College’s famed Language Schools since the program began 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 Language Pledge® as an essential strategy in Middlebury’s vision of language learning; the Language Pledge® was a promise that would challenge even advanced speakers.

With the support of native speakers and expert educators, Middlebury College 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 Language 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.