Embodied Cognition: Laying the Foundation for Early Language and Literacy Learning

Main Article Content

Hetty Roessingh
Michelle Bence


For children, hands are the critical conduit for learning the world and constructing mental models of its size and shape.  Such embodied cognition (EC) is mediated through language in the social environment. In this paper we review the literature and develop the conceptual underpinnings for a framework for play-based pedagogy that integrates sensorimotor, cognitive, and linguistic systems that lay the foundations for early literacy experiences expected in the kindergarten and Grade 1 year. We provide suggestions for incorporating games and tasks in a play-based program that will promote EC.

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How to Cite
Roessingh, H., & Bence, M. (2019). Embodied Cognition: Laying the Foundation for Early Language and Literacy Learning. Language and Literacy, 20(4), 23-39. https://doi.org/10.20360/langandlit29435
Author Biographies

Hetty Roessingh, University of Calgary

Hetty teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs at Werklund. Her research interests include longitudinal studies of language and literacy development in Grades 2 – 12.

Michelle Bence, University of Calgary

Michelle is passionate about early literacy development in the K – 3 years. She has worked extensively with Alberta Education in early literacy assessment, including standard setting and validation studies and is a sought after presenter at conferences and workshops.