By ROSEANNA BELT
WCU CHEROKEE CENTER
Dr. Hartwell Francis, Director of the Western Carolina University Cherokee Language Program and Bo Lossiah, Curriculum Specialist of Kituwah Preservation and Education Programs’ Atse Kituwah Immersion Academy joined the Cherokee Language Consortium to conduct the first Cherokee language assessments for Cherokee language teacher certification on Friday, March 23.
Mary Brown, Cherokee language instructor at Swain High School, and Shirley Oswalt, Cherokee language instructor at Robbinsville High School, appeared before Cherokee language attainment assessment proctors. Dr. Francis and Mr. Lossiah recorded Brown and Oswalt, and the Cherokee Language Consortium will process the recordings to determine the language attainment level of the two women.
The North Carolina State Department of Public Instruction requires language learners to attain a score of Intermediate High/Advanced Low on similar assessment tools in order to certify language educators for kindergarten to twelfth grade classrooms. The Cherokee Language Consortium held the assessment in the Snowbird Community.
Cherokee Language Consortium members Marie Junaluska, Edwin George, Janie Brown, Eli George and Arnold Wachacha served as Cherokee language assessment proctors. Results are due within the next couple of weeks.