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PhD, Title of docent (Finnish)

I am interested in the role of bodily and material resources in action formation and ascription. My recent publications address e.g. the role of hand gestures in giving instructions, checking understanding, and securing intersubjectivity in various multilingual interactions. 

I am the PI of the Academy of Finland funded project Globalizing construction work and local language practices (GLO-LO) (2020-2024). The project uses multimodal conversation analysis to investigate how co-workers coordinate courses of physical action in consruction work and how they use different languages as well as embodied and material resources in this.

Together with Søren Eskildsen (SDU) and Jan Svennevig (UiA) I lead the NOS-HS funded series of workshops in which we explore the theories of new materialism and post humanism to better understand and address the challenges of the linguistic integration of adult immigrants in Nordic societies.

I am also involved in the research project Embodied Language Learning through the Arts (ELLA) (2021-2024) led by professor Eeva Anttila (The University of Arts Helsinki) and funded by Kone foundation. The multidisciplinary research project focuses on how embodiment, artistic activity and language are intertwined. It develops artistic and pedagogical practices that seek to engage human beings holistically, within their social and material environments. The project maps the impacts of these practices especially within culturally diverse settings.

My previous project ‘Co-designing social interactions in everyday life’ (2017-2020, funded by Emil Aaltonen foundation) analysed how second language users of Finnish deploy linguistic, embodied and material resources to construct meaningful social actions in interactions outside of language classrooms, i.e. ‘in the Wild’, and how they learn the language at the same time. 

Main positions of trust

Member of the ethics committee of the Tampere region (non-medical research) 

Member of the Faculty Council (ITC) 

Selected publications

Jokipohja, Anna-Kaisa & Lilja Niina (2022). Depictive hand gestures as candidate understandings. Research in Language and Social Interaction. 

Lilja, N. (2022). Multimodal conversation analysis as a method for studying second language use and learning in a naturally occurring interaction. In G. Stam, & K. Urbanski (Eds.), Gesture and multimodality in second language acquisition (pp. 204-228). Routledge. 

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 Review, 37, [100480]. 

Lilja, N., & Piirainen-Marsh, A. (2022). Recipient Design by Gestures: Depictive Gestures Embody Actions in Cooking Instructions. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 5(1). 

Piirainen-Marsh, A., Lilja, N., & Eskildsen, S. W. (2022). Bodily Practices in Action Formation and Ascription in Multilingual Interaction: Introduction to the Special Issue. Social Interaction. Video-Based Studies of Human Sociality, 5(1). 

Lilja, Niina, Laura Eilola, Anna-Kaisa Jokipohja & Terhi Tapaninen (Eds.), Aikuiset maahanmuuttajat arjen vuorovaikutustilanteissa: Suomen kielen oppimisen mahdollisuudet ja mahdottomuudet. Vastapaino.  

Eilola, Laura & Niina Lilja (2021). The Smartphone as a Personal Cognitive Artifact Supporting Participation in Interaction. The Modern Language Journal.  

Lilja, Niina & Arja Piirainen-Marsh (2019). How hand gestures contribute to action ascription. Research on Language and Social Interaction.  

Lilja, Niina & Arja Piirainen-Marsh (2019). Connecting the Language Classroom and the Wild: Re-enactments of Language Use Experiences. Applied Linguistics 40 (4), 594–623,  

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