Middlebury

Former Director Seiichi Makino Delivers Commencement Address

September 2, 2009

Seiichi Makino, Princeton University Professor of Japanese and Linguistics and former director of the Middlebury Japanese School from 1978 to 1988, delivered the commencement address at the ceremony. Focusing his address on the importance of language learning, Professor Makino explained his approach to language acquisition with a metaphor: "Language is water. It flows like a river."

A professor at Princeton since 1991, Professor Makino currently researches linguistics and teaches courses on East Asian studies and the Japanese language. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees in English literature from Waseda University, his bachelor's and master's degrees in linguistics from the University of Tokyo, and a doctorate in linguistics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has also published numerous books about linguistics, culture, and language study.

Professor Makino was the president of the Association of Teachers of Japanese from 2003 to 2005 and has been the academic director of a three-summer master's program in Japanese pedagogy at Columbia University since 1996. In 2001, he received the ADFL Award for Distinguished Service in the Profession, as well as the award of the Society for Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language, in 2007.