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.