Small Groups help adult learners to speak Cherokee
Each week, they meet and greet one another in ancient Cherokee phrases.
As they gather around the coffee pot, they practice more phrases, occasionally falling silent as they consider what would be the right way to say something.
Afterwards, coffee cups in hand, they settle into comfortable chairs and watch a language video together.
When it finishes, they each take a turn practicing what was just covered in the short clips.
After a few rounds of repeating phrases, they finish one more cup of coffee, shake hands, and express in Cherokee that they will all meet again.
Small groups like these are forming and meeting all over the southeastern United States, especially in Alabama, Georgia, and Tennessee.
These areas were once undeniably Cherokee lands but for nearly two centuries, the language has not been spoken there.
All of that is changing as these adult learners meet and practice speaking with one another.
They then return to their families and friends and pass on what they have learned, widening the spread of the language.
Gone are the days of individuals laboring over a book, alone and unaided.
The popular youtube videos and computer resources like the CNO website available today have allowed people to hear the words from speakers in Oklahoma and in North Carolina.
The language is returning to the homeland it once filled.