Our approach

The MLEC subscribes to the teaching of communicative competence, but grounds instructional materials in useful grammatical explanations to aid memorization and to solidify what is learned through the communicative competence method. In addition, the center strongly believes in and applies best practices of authentic teaching and assessment, i.e. learning and assessment through actual situations that the learners would experience outside of instruction. For this reason, the MLEC’s authentic learning materials provide opportunities for practicing reading, listening, speaking, vocabulary-building, as well as integrated tasks, all while learning about Macedonian culture through popular games, music, and movies.

The sequence of presentation of materials is based on pedagogical best practices such as Benjamin Bloom's taxonomy of learning domains, Robert Gagne's cognitive domains of learning and events of instruction, Stephen Krashen's efficient comprehensible input, and others. Therefore, the lessons are designed to engage the learners by incorporating all three learning domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Each lesson begins with a contextual illustration of the object of the lesson, which is connected to the presentation of new material and reinforced through more contextual examples and exercises to provide the learner with an opportunity to apply what is learned. Feedback is provided immediately to prevent fossilization of incorrect information. The new material is presented according to the formula i+1, where i is the current knowledge of the learner and 1 is the increment by which new material is presented. This formula also enhances retention and transfer of material, since the material builds upon itself, requiring the learner to recall previously learned material.

We invite you to put our pedagogical approach to the test and explore our materials by getting started (click here)!

Our teachers

Katarina Cipuseva

Mrs. Cipuseva has been teaching Macedonian in person, at Macquarie University's Department of European Languages, and online for over a decade. Born and raised in Macedonia, she currently resides in Australia.

Aleksandra Nikolova, Ed.D. TESOL

Dr. Nikolova has taught ESL/EFL, Macedonian, Serbian, as well as Linguistics and Methodology courses online for over 10 years. She has been a teacher trainer at UCSD, SDSU, Alliant International University, and Ashford University in San Diego, California, as well as at CETYS Universidad in Tijuana, Mexico. Currently, she is the academic director at the Serbian School in San Diego, California. After finishing her BA in English Language and Literature in Skopje, Macedonia, she attended and graduated from the MA TESOL program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Later, she graduated with an EdD degree in TESOL/Applied Linguistics from Alliant International University in San Diego, CA. She has been living and working in San Diego for over 13 years.

Meri Tancheva

Mrs. Tancheva has been teaching Macedonian to different age groups within the classroom and online, since 2016. She believes that when teachers and students work as a team, students can have a successful learning experience. Languages have been her passion and this love for language learning has also informed her teaching. In addition to her native Macedonian, she also speaks English, Greek, Montenegrin, Serbian and some German. She was born and raised in Macedonia but has also lived in the U.S.A. and in Greece. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her husband and two adopted dogs.

Our center

While teaching English as a Second and Foreign Language, Macedonian Language E-Learning Center (MLEC) founder Biljana Belamaric Wilsey found an abundance of online materials for every audience and level. But when she later focused on teaching the Slavic languages, Macedonian in particular, she discovered a scarcity of available online materials. So, she decided to do something about it and founded the center as a non-profit organization in 2007.

The mission of the MLEC is to promote foreign language learning and cultural understanding world-wide and build an international awareness of the Macedonian language and culture by producing online resources for learning the Macedonian language and learning about Macedonian culture.

The MLEC aims to fill the void of technologically up-to-date materials for studying Macedonian and to address all aspects of language learning via culturally-relevant materials that can be used interactively online, printed, or downloaded to portable technologies. Some of the services offered include free tutorials, podcasts, and language learning games. The center also provides an online interactive community to practice the language by connecting to Macedonians, as well as learners and teachers of Macedonian language worldwide.

The center is registered as a 501(c)(3) organization with the state of North Carolina and the federal government of the United States. This means that all donations received in the US are tax-deductible. Please contact us if you would like to donate from another country and would like us to explore possible tax benefits in your country.

The center's staff presents and publishes their research about learners using the center's materials at conferences and in leading peer-reviewed journals. To see some of our research, click here.

Officers

Biljana Belamaric Wilsey, Ph.D.

Founder and Executive Director

Born and raised in Macedonia, Dr. Belamaric Wilsey earned her first Master's degree in English as a Second Language and her second Master's degree in Slavic Languages and Literatures. She has three years of experience developing and teaching a seminar in Macedonian language and culture for linguists working for the US government, and eight years of experience teaching Russian in a distance education and on-site environment and pedagogy and communicating in the US classroom, in addition to four years of experience developing multimedia materials in a business learning setting. In 2005, she developed the only currently available online tutorial for learning Macedonian pronunciation and writing. She has been heading the center since 2007. Her Ph.D. is focused on instructional technology for language learning with multimedia and online technologies. Her articles have been published in peer-reviewed journals such as CALICO Journal Journal of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, and her movie reviews were published in KinoKultura's special edition on Macedonian film. In 2015, she was chosen as one of "40 under 40" rising stars of Macedonian heritage by the United Macedonian Diaspora.

David Wilsey, M.B.A.

Treasurer

Mr. Wilsey is currently the Chief Operating Officer for the Balanced Scorecard Institute, a strategic planning training and consulting firm. He earned his MBA at North Carolina State University and has been studying Macedonian since 2001. He has decades of experience in a wide range of fields, including consulting, training, marketing, website design, programming, research, education, and multimedia production. In addition to his role as treasurer for the Center, Mr. Wilsey is also responsible for the design and functionality of the Center's website.

Board Members

Steven Clancy, Ph.D.

Board member (2010-)

Dr. Clancy is Senior Lecturer on Slavic Languages and Literatures and Director of the Language Program in the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures at Harvard University. Prior to the current position, he was the founder and Academic Director of the University of Chicago Center for the Study of Languages. His research interests include cognitive linguistics, case and verbal semantics, corpus linguistics (including using Multidimensional Scaling), grammaticalization, and historical linguistics. His publications include the The Chain of BEING and HAVING in Slavic and “The ascent of guy” as well as two books on Slavic case semantics with Laura Janda: The Case Book for Russian (2002), winner of the 2005 AATSEEL book award for best book in language pedagogy and The Case Book for Czech (2006). The Case Book for Polish is forthcoming. From 2007-2010 he was the president of the Slavic Cognitive Linguistics Association (SCLA), an international organization for Slavic Linguists.

Robert Greenberg, Ph.D.

Board member (2007-)

Dr. Greenberg is the Dean of the Faculty of the Arts at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. He was previously an adjunct professor in the Slavic Languages and Literatures department at Yale University and acting dean of the school of arts and sciences at Hunter College in New York City. He earned his PhD at Yale University. He has taught Macedonian and various other Slavic languages for over two decades. His research interests include language, identity, nationalism, and politics in the Balkans.

Meto Koloski

Board member (2012-)

Metodija A. Koloski is Co-Founder and President of the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), headquartered in Washington, D.C. Koloski, an expert on Macedonia’s right to its name, minorities in Southeast Europe, and NATO and EU enlargement issues, also chairs the Southeast Europe Coalition. He has been been published in the Washington Times, the Foreign Policy Association, The Hill’s Congress Blog, the National Post, the Journal Gazette, and the International Relations Forum. He is frequently quoted in the Macedonian and international media on topics related to Macedonia and the diaspora.

A fluent Macedonian speaker, having learned the language during his childhood, Koloski is proud to serve on the Board of the Macedonian Language E-Learning Center. For his efforts to promote the rich immigrant heritage of the United States, Koloski was recognized and appointed to the Honorary Board of Welcome.us in June 2015.

In his previous capacities, Koloski has worked for the Foreign Policy Association, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and DLA Piper LLP. He holds a Bachelors of Arts from Manhattanville College in Political Science and International Relations.

Koloski’s family migrated to the United States from Macedonia in the early 1950s due to communist Yugoslavia’s anti-democratic policies. Koloski was born and raised in Garfield, New Jersey. His family has roots in the Republic of Macedonia, Aegean Macedonia (current day northern Greece), and Korca, Albania.

Liljana Mitkovska, Ph.D.

Board member (2014-)

Dr. Mitkovska is associate professor of English grammar and English-Macedonian contrastive analysis at the FON University, Macedonia. She has taught English as a foreign language and Macedonian to foreigners and heritage speakers. She is a co-author of the book Зборувате ли македонски? (Do you Speak Macedonian?), a beginners course for Macedonian as a foreign language, Тајната на зборовите (The Secret of Words), an introductory course in Macedonian for children of Macedonian origin in Australia and has worked with Christina Kramer on the third edition of the course book Macedonian, a course for beginning and intermediate students. Her research interests comprise Macedonian linguistics from typological perspective, contrastive linguistics, second/foreign language acquisition and learner language analysis.

Ljupco Spasovski, Ph.D.

Board member (2008-)

Dr. Spasovski earned his B.A. in English from Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje and his M.A. in English and Ph.D. in Rhetoric/Composition and Linguistics from Arizona State University. He has been an Instructor of Rhetoric/Composition /Linguistics at Arizona State University since 1998. From 1998-2008, he taught Macedonian at the Arizona State University Critical Languages Institute. During his 25 years of international experience in university-level language instruction, curriculum design, and testing, he has developed and taught a variety of classroom-based, hybrid, and online courses in writing, grammar, general and applied linguistics, and ESL. As an expert language consultant, translator, and interpreter into/from Macedonian and other Slavic languages, Dr. Spasovski has coordinated and facilitated educational and training programs in US and abroad.

Katerina Vasileska, M.A.

Board member (2008-)

Ms. Vasileska holds a European Master's Degree in Human Rights and Democracy and a B.A. in Turkish and Italian language and literature. She was born in Ohrid, Macedonia and founded a company for promoting responsible tourism. Her previous experience includes work as teacher, translator and interpreter. In the Local Development Agency in Struga, Macedonia, she is coordinating the program for social inclusion. Her great desire is to help promote Macedonia and the Macedonian language abroad, as well as to motivate more people to visit Macedonia and recognize the beauty of Macedonian culture and its traditions.

Former board members

Marija Kusevska, Ph.D.

Board member (2007-2014)

Dr. Kusevska received her MTESL from Arizona State University. She currently teaches Business English and English Language Teaching Methodology and has taught Macedonian at the Critical Languages Institute, Arizona State University. She is a co-author of Do You Speak Macedonian, the first book for teaching Macedonian to foreigners based on the communicative approach. Her research interest include pragmatics and second language acquisition.

George Mitrevski, Ph.D.

Board member (2007-2012)

Dr. Mitrevski is a professor emeritus from the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Auburn University. His interests include Macedonian language, literature, and folklore, as well as computer-assisted language learning.

Meredith Clason, M.A.

Board member (2007-2020) and secretary

Ms. Clason is the associate director of the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at the University of Chicago. She has a Master’s degree in Slavic Languages and Literature from the University of North Carolina and was previously the project coordinator of the Duke-UNC Slavic and East European Languages Resource Center. She has studied Macedonian, Russian, Serbian/Croatian, and Bulgarian.

Elisabeth Elliott, Ph.D.

Board member (2010-2020)

Dr. Elliott is a Senior Lecturer and Director of Slavic Languages in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Northwestern University. She earned her PhD from the University of Toronto. She currently teaches Russian, courses in linguistics, and has taught Macedonian at the University of Chicago and Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota. Her research interests include second language acquisition and language and culture.