Clark University’s Franklin Eneh ’13 placed second in the advanced level of the Chinese Bridge Mandarin Chinese Language Speech Contest held recently at the Confucius Institute at UMass Boston. The contest was open to students from colleges and universities in Massachusetts. A student from Harvard University won first place.
“First semester freshman year I took Chinese on a whim,” said Eneh, who has since picked up a second major in Asian studies and spent a full year of study in China after being chosen for a highly-competitive Boren Scholarship.
Even after spending the spring 2012 semester in an intensive Mandarin and Chinese Studies Program at the Beijing Institute of Education, followed by a summer of intensive language study and guided field research at the Harbin Institute of Technology, and then fall semester at Clark’s partner school the Shandong University of Science and Technology, Eneh feared his Chinese skills were slipping. However, the speech contest revealed the contrary.
“The excitement over finishing second place could not compare with the feeling of encouragement of competing with so many enthusiastic Chinese language learners,” he said. Eneh credits Professor and Chinese Program Director Ya-chen Chen of the Foreign Languages and Literatures Department for advocating that her students learn the language and culture beyond the textbook.
“Because of this,” he said, “studying Chinese has never been a labor, but a gratifying hobby.”
Eneh is double-majoring in psychology and Asian studies. He a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society and is involved in the Asian Culture Society, the Chinese Student Scholar Association, and the Caribbean African Student Association. Eneh is an Admissions Scarlet Key tour guide; he is also participates in FOCUS, a social and academic mentor group for men of color on campus. Next year, Eneh plans to take advantage of Clark University’s Accelerated B.A./Masters Program.