Embodied Learning and Teaching Approaches in Language Education: A Mixed Studies Review

Sofia Jusslin*, Kaisa Korpinen, Niina Lilja, Rose Martin, Johanna Lehtinen-Schnabel, Eeva Anttila

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Article or Literature Reviewpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
343 Downloads (Pure)


The notion of embodied learning has gained ground in educational sciences over the last decade and has made its way to language education 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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100480
Pages (from-to)1–21
JournalEducational Research Review
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • embodied learning
  • first language
  • second language
  • foreign language
  • language education


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