Language Pledge

What is the Language Pledge®?

At the Middlebury C.V. Starr School in Italy, we’ve been helping students build foreign language fluency for many years.

It all begins with the Language Pledge®: a promise to speak only the language you are studying for the duration of your time in the program. This complete linguistic immersion, combined with rigorous classroom learning and scores of in-language cocurricular activities, helps you achieve dramatic breakthroughs, no matter what your proficiency level. 

We asked students about their experience with the Language Pledge® in Italy. Here is what they had to say:


How would you describe the Language Pledge to someone who does not know what it is?

Why do you think the Language Pledge is important?

How do you think the Language Pledge has helped you to learn Italian?

What advice would you give to incoming students on how to survive in-language?

What do you do when you can’t find a word in Italian?

What do you wish you knew about the Language Pledge before starting?


The Language Pledge®

To take the fullest advantage of my time abroad, I will maintain the spirit of the Middlebury Language Pledge to speak only in the language I am studying. I understand that no English is to be used in the school offices except in emergency consultations with the director or the staff. I realize that the Language Pledge plays a major role in the success of the academic, social, and personal dimensions of my time abroad, both as a commitment and as an essential part of the language learning process. I understand that speaking the target language with other students on the program, as well as locals, will help me focus my energies on the acquisition of the language, internalize the patterns of communication, and the cultural perspectives associated with the language. Violation of the Language Pledge deprives me and my fellow students of a valuable opportunity. By signing this, I agree to abide by the Middlebury Language Pledge.



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