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Rainy Brake

Ellen Brake

Associate Instructor

College of Arts and Sciences

Anthropology and Sociology

Contact Information

Office: 105A McKee Building


I graduated East Carolina University in 2007 with a BA in English Literature, followed by a graduate certificate in Cherokee Language from Western Carolina University in 2009. In 2009, I was the first certified teacher in the New Kituwah Academy Cherokee immersion program, developed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. I taught Cherokee immersion in early elementary (Grades K-5) from 2009-2019. In 2019, I accepted a position as Cherokee Language Instructor at Western Carolina University.


  • BA, East Carolina University, English Literature

Teaching Interests

My primary areas of interest are the effects of immersion pedagogy on language acquisition and culturally-sensitive curriculum development for tribal communities. I am interested in both childhood and adulthood language acquisition, and play-based pedagogy with Total Physical Response (TPR) methods.

Research Interests

I am interested in the documentation and revitalization of Cherokee language, as well as the Cherokee syllabary.

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