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Embodied Language Learning through the Arts

Embodied Language Learning through the Arts



Project coordinator

University of the Arts Helsinki

Funded by

  • KONE Foundation (University of the Arts Helsinki)
  • Svensk-Österbottniska samfundet (Åbo Akademi University)
  • Harry Schaumans stiftelse (Åbo Akademi University)
  • The research project Embodied Language Learning through the Arts (ELLA) explores how language, artistic activity and embodied learning can be intertwined and how embodied language learning through the arts can contribute to meaningful changes in educational practices. The project is led by professor Eeva Anttila at University of the Arts Helsinki. The project team consists of researchers and artists at University of the Arts Helsinki, Åbo Akademi University, University of Turku, Jyväskylä University, and Tampere University, as well as international research partners at University of Copenhagen and NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

    The ELLA project includes three subprojects: Early ELLA, Culturally Diverse ELLA and Multiprofessional ELLA. Researchers at Åbo Akademi University are involved in Early ELLA and Multiprofessional ELLA.

    Early ELLA is carried out in close collaboration with teachers and artists to develop and explore embodied learning through the arts in early language and literacy education. The research interest is directed toward how dance can contribute to children’s early language and literacy development and how the arts can produce changes in how language and literacy education is understood and implemented. The research is conducted in collaboration with The Regional Dance Centre of Ostrobothnia.

    The subproject Multiprofessional ELLA aims at promoting multiprofessional collaboration between researchers, teachers, teacher educators, and artists. The research interest is partly directed at embodied language learning through the arts in the teacher education at Åbo Akademi University, and partly at the development of pedagogical approaches with arts-based approaches in combination with Swedish language learning in upper secondary school.


    Contact us

    Sofia Jusslin

    University Lecturer 


    Faculty of Education and Welfare Studies
    To the project website