Peer-reviewed publications

Korpinen, K., & Anttila, E. (2023). The potential of multiprofessional collaboration in integrating dance in early additional language education in primary school. Dance Articulated, Special Issue: Dance in Cross-Sectoral Educational Collaborations, 9(1), 50-79.  

This article explores how a multiprofessional team collaborates in integrating dance in early language education. It is based on the team members’ experiences and reflections as they combined dance with the teaching of Swedish as an additional language in grade 1 in a Finnish primary school. The project was framed by the notion of embodied learning understood as the holistic engagement of learners within their socio-material surroundings. Following socio-material approaches to education, the study examines the team of a dance teacher, a researcher, and the school’s class teachers as an assemblage and multiprofessional collaboration as events that cross subject boundaries. The data assemblage encompasses audio-recorded, embodied, and material documentation of weekly meetings, in which the team co-designed the activities. The analysis maps the collaborative process of integrating language and dance through the post-qualitative approach of embodied writing. It highlights the designed practices, the challenges and the possibilities of the collaboration, and the conditions for successful collaboration. Co-designing dance and language integrated pedagogy occurred in events of disciplinary crossings and in entanglement with the process of becoming an assembled team. These insights illuminate multiprofessional collaboration as an entry point to embodied and cross-disciplinary pedagogies in early language education in primary school.


Jusslin, S. (2022). Re-thinking inspiration as in-betweens in arts-integrated literacy practices. Linguistics and Education72, 101098.

Inspiration is a widely used concept in everyday speech, and it is used especially when people talk about what they do in their creative processes. This article presents a re-thinking of the notion of inspiration through a non-representational approach to challenge the assumption of dance as a mere stimulus to and representation of texts and vice versa when integrating creative dance into literacy education. Based on diffractive analytical engagements, this article proposes an understanding of inspiration as intra-active and rhizomatic in-betweens producing new-ness and other-ness. This understanding can produce rich and diverse opportunities that value and cherish writing and dancing non-hierarchically in the literacy classroom; both have pedagogical value, without either acting as a servant of the other. The article concludes with a discussion of the extent to which literacy education is prepared to take dance seriously, emphasizing that the proposed understanding of inspiration can contribute to that end.


Jusslin, S., Korpinen, K., Lilja, N., Martin, R., Lehtinen-Schnabel, J., & Anttila, E. (2022). Embodied learning and teaching approaches in language education: A mixed studies review. Educational Research Review37(100480), 1–21.

The notion of embodied learning has gained ground in educational sciences over the last decade and has made its way to languageeducation with researchers acknowledging language learning as an embodied process. This mixed studies review aggregates and reviews empirical research, published from 1990 to 2020, using embodied learning approaches in language education. The review focuses on embodied approaches in learning and teaching first, second, and foreign languages at various educational levels. It encompasses 41 empirical studies with a majority published between 2019 and 2020, suggesting that the research area is growing rapidly. The results show that the studies align with two strands: (1) embodied learning through orchestrating embodied language learning and teaching, and (2) embodied learning in naturally occurring language learning interactions. The review identifies various embodied learning activities and presents how they contribute to language learning and teaching in different ways. The review proposes an understanding of embodied language learning that holds potentials to engage learners holistically, while simultaneously promoting language learning skills and adding emotional and motivational benefits to language learning.


Korpinen, K., & Anttila, E. (2022). Strange encounters in times of distancing: Sustaining dialogue through integrating language and dance in primary education. Journal for Research in Arts and Sports Education6(3), 45–62.

This article focuses on experiences of resuming contact instruction in a project that integrated language and dance in a Finnish primary school during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article aims to explore how it is possible to sustain dialogue in times of distancing. It turns these exceptional, messy conditions into an opportunity to reconfigure the practice of embodied language learning. Through performative writing, the article weaves together the experiences and observations of the first author, a dance teacher, and two school teachers, and presents their reflections of embodied pedagogical practice in a transformed school reality. The narrative focuses on events and encounters that deviated from customary classroom situations, and the challenges, difficulties, and possibilities that emerged in seeking to explore pedagogical practices that made it possible to sustain dialogue. The authors argue that dance and language integration was able to support dialogue in early language education even when touching was not possible, materials not available, and distancing changed normal practices. It engaged both pupils and teachers in exploring new ways of communicating and co-existing in strange, more-than-human relations. The authors conclude that integrating language and dance offers a pedagogical tool for sustaining dialogue in a complex and continuously changing world.


Lehtinen-Schnabel, J. (2022). Novel opportunities for intercultural music education: Integrating singing and a language-aware approach in Learn-Finnish-by-Singing choirs. Research Studies in Music Education, 45(3), 478-496.

The topic of language awareness in intercultural music education has received surprisingly little attention in discussions on meaningful and responsive musical practices, despite language being an ubiquitous issue that every music educator encounters when entering a multilingual learning environment. This study explores a language-aware perspective that is embedded in a dynamic and dialogical choir practice drawing on the direct social needs of adult choir participants with culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The analysis sets the practitioner experiences, planning, and implementation of the choir practice against the theorisation of activity systems and the concepts of boundary object and boundary crossing, in particular. The theoretical exploration considers how a dual meaning choir practice (a) integrates musical and linguistic activity, (b) crosses boundaries between the disciplines of music and language education, and (c) justifies change in music educational thinking. The study suggests that a dual meaning choir practice provides meaningful musical activity for adult immigrants, expanding the understanding of musical practice and the profession of music educator by blurring the dichotomous thinking of music and music education as being either instrumentalized or existing only for purely musical purposes. The study further advocates that a hybrid musical practice can widen professional understanding with novel insights, out-of-the-box perspectives, and new opportunities.


Siljamäki, M., & Anttila, E. (2022). Näkökulmia kulttuuriseen moninaisuuteen: kulttuurienvälisen osaamisen kehittyminen liikunnanopettajakoulutuksessa. Liikunta ja tiede59(3), 99-106.

Tämä artikkeli perustuu tutkimukseen, jonka tavoitteena on lisätä ymmärrystä kulttuurienvälisestä osaamisesta ja sen kehittämisestä liikunnanopettajakoulutuksen kontekstissa. Tavoitteena on myös lisätä tietoa kulttuurisen moninaisuuden huomioimisesta osana liikuntakasvatusta. Tutkimus toteutettiin vuosina 2020–2021 liikuntatieteellisen tiedekunnan kahden kurssin yhteydessä, joissa tarkasteltiin yhdenvertaisuutta liikuntakasvatuksessa. Teoreettinen viitekehys paikantuu muun muassa kriittiseen monikulttuurisuuskasvatukseen. Laadullinen aineisto analysoitiin tulkinnallisella otteella. Suurin osa opiskelijoista piti kulttuuriseen moninaisuuteen liittyviä asioita ajankohtaisena ja keskeisenä. Ennen kursseja painopiste osalla opiskelijoista oli ”vinkkien” saamisessa eri kulttuureista, uskonnoista ja maahanmuuttajaoppilaiden liikunnanopetuksesta. Kurssien aikana ilmiön monitahoisuus ja liikunnanopettajan ammatillisten vastuiden laajentaminen alkoi hahmottua. Merkityksellisiä pedagogisia lähestymistapoja kulttuurienvälisen osaamisen kehittymisessä olivat keskustelut sekä toiminnalliset harjoitukset. Myös tunteiden käsittely osana oppimista osoittautui tähdelliseksi. Oppimisen syvällisyyttä ja pysyvyyttä ei ole mahdollista tässä artikkelissa arvioida. Joka tapauksessa on selvää, että kulttuuriseen moninaisuuteen liittyvää opetusta on tärkeä vahvistaa liikunnanopettajakoulutuksen eri opintojaksoilla sekä opettajankoulutuksessa laajemminkin.


Siljamäki, M., & Anttila, E.  (2021). Developing future physical education teachers' intercultural competence: the potential of intertwinement of transformative, embodied, and critical approaches. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living3, 765513.

This article is based on a study that explored learning processes related to intercultural competence of PE teacher trainees. The context of the study was the Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. The study was conducted in connection to two courses that focused on equality in physical education and sport in 2020–2021. Adopting an interpretive, as well as a critical approach, the authors focused on how the students described their conceptions and learning experiences. Based on their analysis they have then aimed to shed light on how interculturality, equality, equity, and diversity may be addressed in higher education in a more profound manner. The students' accounts were analyzed first through an open reading and subsequently through a more critical lens. The analysis was supported by theories of transformative learning, embodied learning, and intercultural education. Students' initial interest toward equity, equality, and interculturality seemed to expand during the courses. They increasingly reflected on the complexity of these issues and discussed the widening professional responsibilities of future PE teachers in promoting equality and supporting pupils in cultural heterogeneous classes. Discussions and practical activities that involved emotional and embodied elements seemed to be important in facilitating their learning processes. However, it is difficult to foresee how permanent the changes in their habits of mind and subsequent actions are. The authors suggest that embodied, practical approaches where the student is fully engaged in the learning process, and where conceptual, reflective, emotional, and affective levels are connected, may be a key in developing teachers' intercultural competence. They also suggest that it is crucial to revise higher education curricula from the perspectives of intercultural competence and structural inequality. In addition to separate courses, equality, equity, and diversity should be seen as red threads throughout higher education.



Klemettinen, K. & Rancken, E. (2024). Liikunnanopettajaopiskelijoiden kokema valmius kulttuurisesti moninaisten ryhmien liikunnanopetukseen ja keholliseen kielenopetukseen [Physical education teacher students’ perceived readiness for physical education and embodied language teaching of culturally diverse groups] (Master's thesis). University of Jyväskylä.

Gutic, E. (2023). Integrering av drama, musik och dans i språkundervisning inom åk 1–6 – en systematisk litteraturstudie [Integration of drama, music, and dance in language education in grades 1–6: A systematic literature review] (Bacherlor's thesis). Åbo Akademi University. 

Kavalika, E. (2023). From page to "stage": An exploration of creative arts in language learning in primary education (Master's thesis). Åbo Akademi University. 

Willström, L. (2023). Gymnasieelevernas känslor på kursen "Dansa med språk" [Upper secondary school students' emotions in the course "Dance with languages"] (Bachelor's thesis). University of Jyväskylä.

Popularised publications

Jusslin, S. (2024). Kroppen gör skillnad i språkundervisningen ("The body matters in language education"). Lärorikt.

Kaarla, L., Jusslin, S., Korpinen, K., & Lilja, N. (2023). Ruotsin kieltä tanssien lukiossa ("Swedish through dance in upper secondary education"). Liikekieli.