How Bonnie Layne spent her summer

Submitted by Susanna J Westen on

In June Bonnie Layne, a graduate student in the Slavic Department, taught conversational English to interested adult learners for three weeks in Ohrid, Macedonia.  She was one of two American volunteers sponsored by the Macedonia Schools Project to teach at Bratstvo-Edinstvo School in Ohrid.  Emilijia Paunkoska, the head of the Language Resource Center, assisted the volunteers, both from the Seattle area.   Bonnie worked with local adults interested in improving their English language skills, and Jennifer Carroll, a well-known puppeteer who works at the University of Washington’s Sociology Department, organized a cross-culture performance for primary school-aged children.   

‘’Teaching English in Macedonia was a wonderful use of my summer,” Bonnie reported.  “The scenery in Ohrid is breathtaking and the people are welcoming and extremely hospitable.  Working with Emilijia  taught me a lot about how to teach students of a second language, which is wonderfully helpful in my current position of teaching first-year Russian.  I truly loved every minute of my Macedonian experience and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more of this wonderful country and how to more effectively teach English."


Information for prospective volunteers

Program Qualifications:  Experienced or retired teachers or college level students interested in teaching and gaining a cross-cultural experience.   Others comfortable in school classrooms are welcome to apply.

Costs:  Air-flight is approximately $1,700 to reach Ohrid, Macedonia.  Tuition is $550 for a 2-week experience, $700 for 3-weeks. 

Accommodations:   The tuition will cover housing costs with a local Macedonian family located close to the school and includes breakfast each day. 

Transportation:  MSP hosts will meet you at the Ohrid airport and provide transportation to your housing. 

Teaching environment:  The MSP will provide students, classrooms and a qualified Macedonian teacher to work with you to ensure the highest quality experience for you and the students.  All students involved will have some knowledge of English but need practice in using their language skills with native English speakers. 

The Macedonian classrooms have limited resources so volunteers are encouraged to bring educational materials.   In addition, volunteer teachers may introduce other subjects such as art and music.   They will be expected to teach about 2 hours a day 5 days each week.

Volunteer teachers are free to experience the many cultural and historical offerings available in the Ohrid area during the summer.

For more information contact Tom Lineham, Coordinator for the Macedonia Schools Project, at:  Or:  360-977-2237.  The MSP website page that includes additional photos and information about MSP projects is: