In the Cherokee syllabary, the characters above spell "study".

In the Cherokee syllabary, the characters above spell "study".

Cherokee Language Revitalization Project

Thanks to a generous series of grants from the Cherokee Preservation Foundation, the EBCI and Western Carolina University Cherokee Studies are working together to implement a ten year language revitalization initiative. This initiative takes a three-pronged approach to revitalizing the Cherokee language:

  • Continuing to improve and expand the EBCI Atse Kituwah Cherokee Language Immersion School
  •  Working with the EBCI community to develop Cherokee language learning resources
  • Building Western Carolina University programs to offer a more comprehensive language training curriculum

Cherokee Studies

The Cherokee Language Initiative has resulted in the creation of the Cherokee Language Program.  Cherokee Language Program Director Hartwell Francis, PhD, and Coordinator Tom Belt have developed core course work for Cherokee language learning.  Western Carolina University offers four semesters of basic and intermediate Cherokee language, one semester of grammar and one semester of literature.  The Cherokee Language Program also offers independent study and guided study with Cherokee language speakers in the EBCI community.  Our EBCI Kituwah Preservation and Education Program partners have established the Atse Kituwah Cherokee Language Immersion Academy and Western Carolina University Cherokee Language Program graduates are already teaching in Cherokee language in the immersion school.  We will continue to develop and expand our Cherokee language program offerings.  We have Cherokee 101 as an online offering now, and we hope to bring our Cherokee grammar class online soon.

As part of the Cherokee Language Initiative, we encourage interested undergraduates to join Western Carolina University.  We will help you learn the Cherokee language while you get your degree in Elementary Education at one of the best teaching colleges in the state of North Carolina.  We will provide a Cherokee language experience while you prepare to step into the classroom and deliver content lessons in the Cherokee language.  Our graduates teach elementary education content, math, science, language arts, social studies, in the Cherokee language.  As part of our rich program, we work with undergraduates and graduate students to develop approaches and materials for Cherokee language presentation of elementary education.  We repurpose the approaches and materials we develop for a rich Cherokee-as-a-second-language experience.


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