© 2018

Embodying Language in Action

The Artistry of Process Drama in Second Language Education


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xix
  2. Part I: Key Definitions in the Aesthetic Dimension

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 21-52
    3. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 53-78
    4. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 109-130
  3. Part II: Navigating the Aesthetic Dimension

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 131-131
    2. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 133-161
    3. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 163-182
    4. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 183-221
  4. Part III: Researching the Aesthetic Dimension

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 223-223
    2. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 225-258
    3. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 259-293
    4. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 295-319
    5. Erika Piazzoli
      Pages 321-333
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 335-367

About this book


This book explores embodiment in second language education, sociocultural theory and research. It focuses on process drama, an embodied approach that engages learners’ imagination, body and voice to create a felt-experience of the second language and culture. Divided into three parts, it begins by examining the aesthetic and intercultural dimension of performative language teaching, the elements of drama and knowing-in-action. The central part of the book examines issues related to play, emotions, classroom discourse and assessment when learning a language through process drama, in a sociocultural perspective. The third part is an analysis of the author’s qualitative research, which informs a subtle discussion on reflective practitioner methodology, learner engagement and teacher artistry. Each chapter includes a drama workshop, illustrating in practice what embodying language in action can look like when working with asylum seekers, adult learners with intellectual disabilities, pre-service teachers, international students and children involved in a Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) programme. A unique combination of theory, research and reflective practice, this book provides valuable insights for teacher/artists, teacher educators and researchers in the fields of performative and sociocultural language learning.


Second Language Learning drama in education second language classroom learner engagement drama pedagogy embodiment process drama language acquisition Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) Language Assessment Aesthetic Learning Intercultural Engagement Performative Language Teaching

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationTrinity College DublinDublinIreland

About the authors

Erika Piazzoli is Assistant Professor in Arts Education at Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin, Ireland, and Adjunct Research Fellow at Griffith University, Australia.

Bibliographic information


“This splendid book intrigues, astonishes and enlightens. Grounded in Piazzoli’s candid personal stories, it seamlessly interweaves pedagogy and artistry - embodiment, feeling, cognition, research, performance, culture and linguistics - into a rich tapestry of insights. It is a model of praxis, blending encyclopaedic grasp of theory and literature with assured practice.” (John O’Toole, University of Melbourne, Australia)

“This timely publication is an excellent introduction to the artistry of process drama in second language education and a significant contribution to the scholarly debate on performativity in education. Erika Piazzoli offers rich theoretical perspectives on Embodying Language in Action, complemented by ten very inspiring examples of teaching practice, and engages the reader by drawing on autobiographical vignettes and personal memories. The book promises to become an important reference point for all those who believe that creative doing should be at the centre of education, who are eager to understand better in what sense and to what extent language teaching is an art, the teacher is an artist and the students are co-artists.” (Manfred Schewe, University College Cork, Ireland)