About Our Cherokee Language Program

The Cherokee Language Program (CLP) at Western Carolina University is dedicated to the documentation, preservation, and revitalization of the Cherokee language. We offer eight Cherokee language courses with the goal of training future teachers and second language speakers of the Cherokee language. Graduates will be prepared to work with EBCI community programs, region organizations, and cultural organizations more broadly. We consult with and provide programming and training for EBCI community partner organizations toward our shared goals of language revitalization. Our faculty engage in the scholarly translation projects and the scholarly development of Cherokee teaching materials and assessment strategies that we share with our fellow language partners. As part of the UNC system, we believe that a culturally appropriate introduction to Cherokee language and culture for as many people as possible will build opportunities, support, and intercultural understanding for residents across the state. Western Carolina University (WCU) and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) have a standing Memorandum of Understanding. This MOU states that the EBCI and WCU “agree to explore and support opportunities for cultural revitalization and exchanges between the Parties” and “to promote a climate conducive to enhancing communication and interaction between the Parties and facilitate recognition and honor of their respective cultures.” As an endangered language whose speakers are endemic to our region, WCU has committed to partnering with the EBCI toward revitalizing the Cherokee language.

Courses & Cherokee Language Minor 

4 Core Classes

  • Cher 101 Beginning Cherokee I  
  • Cher 132 Beginning Cherokee II  
  • Cher 231 Intermediate Cherokee I  
  • Cher 232 Intermediate Cherokee II  

2 Electives selected frfom the courses below

  • Cher 310 Cherokee Literature  
  • Cher 351 Phonetics and General Linguistics  
  • Anth 450 Endangered Languages and Language Revitalization 
  • Cher 352 Advanced Cherokee Conversation 
  • Cher 471 Cherokee Transcription and Translation