Ceremonies Mark Middlebury College’s 1998 Language
Schools Commencement—Oscar-winning Film Director Giuseppe Tornatore
and Foreign Language Pioneer Claire Kramsch to receive Honorary
The Middlebury College Language Schools will hold
commencement ceremonies on Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. in Middlebury College’s
Mead Memorial Chapel on Hepburn Road off College Street (Route
125). The ceremonies will be preceded by a carillon recital by
Middlebury College Carillonneur George Matthew, Jr. beginning
at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Claire Kramsch, a pioneer
in the field of foreign languages, will be the evening’s commencement
speaker, and will receive an honorary degree.
Degrees will be awarded to 147 graduates of Middlebury’s
language programs. The degrees include the bachelor and master
of arts degrees, and the doctor of modern languages degree. Awards
will be presented for outstanding achievement in the study of
Arabic, Chinese and Japanese.
In a separate ceremony on Aug. 7 at 3 p.m., Oscar-winning
Italian movie director Giuseppe Tornatore will receive an honorary
doctor of arts degree, and will give remarks. The ceremony will
take place at Middlebury College’s Kirk Alumni House Conference
Center on Golf Course Road off South Main Street (Route 30).
Known for his internationally acclaimed film “Nuovo
Cinema Paradiso” (Cinema Paradiso), which won both an Oscar
in 1990 for best foreign film and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes
Film Festival, Tornatore has directed several other award-winning
movies. Among them are “Stanno tutti bene” (Everybody’s
Fine), which was nominated in 1990 for an Oscar for best foreign
film; “Una pura formalita’ ” (A Mere Formality); and
“L’uomo delle stell” (The Star Maker), which also was
nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film in 1995 and won the
prestigious Italian award, the Davide-Donatello, for best film
and best director.
Preceding the Language Schools commencement, Tornatore
will lecture at the 1998 Italian School on Italian cinema, the
present status of cinematographic production in Italy, and his
most significant works as seen in the context of the Italian as
well as the foreign cinema of today.
Commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient
Claire Kramsch’s area of research is applied linguistics and second
language acquisition, as well as language pedagogy. She is the
director of the Berkeley Language Center at the University of
California at Berkeley. A former member of the Executive Council
of the Modern Language Association (MLA), she currently serves
on the National Foreign Language Center Advisory Board.
Kramsch’s writings discuss the acquisition of language
in discourse, language and culture, and a wide range of approaches
to language learning. Her book, Context and Culture in Language
Teachers, a pioneering attempt to reconceptualize the teaching
of foreign languages as the crossing of cultural boundaries, won
the MLA’s Kenneth Mildenberger Prize for Outstanding Research
Publication in the Field of Foreign Languages and Literatures.
Middlebury College’s first language school-the German
School-was founded in 1915, followed by the French and Spanish
Schools in 1916 and 1917, respectively. Subsequently, programs
were added in Italian, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Arabic.
Middlebury also offers language programs in Paris, Madrid, Mainz,
Florence, and in Russia in Moscow, Voronezh and Yaroslavl. More
than 35,000 students have attended the Language Schools in an
83-year history, of which more than 11,000 have obtained advanced
degrees in one or more of the languages offered.
The public is invited to attend.