Your Grandmother's Cherokee

Preserving the Cherokee language, one word at a time.

Online Language Classes

Each online language class follows the curriculum standards of the American Council on Teaching Foreign Languages.  These standards are used nationwide and have been adopted by many states as the basis for language curriculum kindergarten through college.  Currently courses using this method are being taught at the University of North Carolina at Asheville in the Department of Languages and Literatures and the minor in Native American Indian and Indigenous Studies.  Each course  is equivalent to four credit hours in a semester.  

Each online language lesson (or week) includes speaking and listening, reading and writing.  The structure of the Cherokee language/grammar is covered, using our new method for understanding the patterns of the language. Words are given in their full forms, with all the syllables, so that you can see the patterns.  You can then speak in whatever dialect or conversational usage you choose in your region or community. Interactive student worksheets let you practice making Cherokee polysynthetic words correctly.  Dialogues with Bear and Rabbit help you practice vocabulary and conversation. Cultural information includes traditional stories, songs, geography, history, recipes, and more.  Moodle software was used to create each online language class for an interactive experience.

The scope and sequence is four years, with each level divided into eighteen weeks, matching a semester for most public schools, community colleges, and university semesters.

Online language classes can be used by an individual, by a group of individuals doing self-study, or by a teacher who is instructing a course. Inquire for educational discounts for multiple courses. 

Thanks to our volunteers who were willing to try something new.  They helped test our courses over the past two years.  Ditsvyalihelitseha!

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Your Grandmother's Cherokee Course Demonstration

Learn the words GO and HELP in the present tense and command forms, for all twelve persons, positive and negative, more than 1200 complete Cherokee words. Try the student worksheet, and learn two dialogues with Bear and Rabbit as they say hello and introduce themselves. Learn how to say some different possibilities for someone being a helper. For example: I am your (3 or more) helper: itsvyasdelisgi.

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Your Grandmother's Cherokee Level 1

  • You will learn forty root words in the present and command tenses, for all twelve persons. These will include active and non-active root words and those for weather. 
  • You will learn to introduce yourself and talk about your family and where you are from.
  • You will learn to make questions with single words and with suffixes. 
  • You will learn to make sentences negative. 
  • You will learn to make plurals for actions and things.
  • You will learn additional vocabulary words related to the root words and their forms, so that you can read, write, and speak simple sentences to express yourself.  Nogwo Togiasdi gega = Now I am going to Asheville.
  • By the end of the course you will know the equivalent of more than 10,000 English words and will be at a high novice or low intermediate level. (Note: the scope of this course is equal to the first five levels of Spanish in Rosetta Stone.)
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Your Grandmother's Cherokee Level 2

  • You will learn the past and future (at one point in time) tenses for the forty words from Level 1 and will begin to add more root words.  Examples of the new tenses are:  Tomorrow I will go to Cherokee.  Sunalei Ela Wodi dagesi.  Last night he and I went to PainttownUsvhi AniWodiyi oginenvsv'i.
  • You will learn the “to-do-it” form so that you can begin to make more complex sentences.  I want him to go to Bryson City.  Tsalsdoni uwenvsdi agwaduliha.
  • You will expand on your introduction of yourself with more information.
  • You will continue to use questions, plurals, and negatives.
  • By the end of the course you will know the equivalent of more than an additional 20,000 English words. You will be at an intermediate level.
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Your Grandmother's Cherokee Level 3

  • You will learn new tenses for past, future, and the continual/habitual tense, for the words you know plus additional root words and vocabulary words.  Gvyasdelisgesdi= I will be helping you, for example.  Bear and Rabbit’s adventures continue.   
  • You will be writing and speaking more complex sentences. You will know Cherokee words equivalent to more than an additional 20,000 English words.
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Your Grandmother's Cherokee Level 4

  • This course includes learning to read and write syllabary and using it.
  • You will practice making more complex sentences, having conversations, and reading texts like the Bible, the Cherokee Phoenix, and old materials in Cherokee.  When you finish, you will be at an intermediate high level and can continue with lifelong learning in the Cherokee language.