Minna Maijala principal investigator,
professor, German

PhD, EdD, docent

“My research focuses mainly on cultural awareness in learning and on the study of educational materials. Involvement in the EKKO Project has led me to ponder even more about the meaning of sustainable development in language learning and pre-service teacher education. I’m inspired by the multilingual communication of birds.”

Leena Maria Heikkola postdoctoral researcher,
research leader, senior lecturer, associate professor
Finnish language didactics/Speech and language pathology
Åbo Akademi University

PhD, docent

“I mainly study pre-service language teachers’ beliefs on linguistically and culturally responsive teaching and their preparedness to implement the principles of sustainable development and linguistic equality in language teaching. It’s great to be involved in the EKKO Project and give my contribution for sustainable development. Each individual affects our shared future with our individual choices.”

Salla-Riikka Kuusalu project researcher,


“I’m interested in the structural differences between languages and their effect on learning. It is important to understand how language affects our thinking, and how thinking patterns acquired through language in different cultures affect language learning and the overall attitudes toward different languages. As the ecologist of the EKKO Project, I support interdisciplinary collaboration to promote sustainable development and nature conservation.”

Päivi Laine university lecturer,
Finnish and Finno-Ugric languages


”For me, important areas in the EKKO Project include linguistic equality among pupils, as well as reflections and practices that increase tolerance and the acceptance of diversity”

Maarit Mutta university lecturer,
Associate professor,


“I’m interested in the fluency of written and spoken language. In the EKKO Project, I find the unbiased treatment of language learners and the formulation of sustainable pedagogical solutions and practical teaching materials especially intriguing. Animal rights and the equal treatment of animals are also important to me.“

Katja Mäntylä University lecturer,
University of Jyväskylä

PhD, docent

”My research in the EKKO Project focuses on the assessment of pre-service subject teachers and on defining ethical language teaching.”


Judi Rose doctoral student,


”My area of interest in the EKKO Project is English language learning of children and youth with an immigrant background. I’m studying the effect of first language literacy level on English language reading comprehension. I find the themes relating to global education important in teaching and teacher education.”

Veijo Vaakanainen doctoral student,
Scandinavian languages


”My area of expertise in the EKKO Project is the development of pedagogical solutions for language teaching and investigating and designing teaching materials.”

Soila Merijärvi
Soila Merijärvi Project Researcher
School of Languages and Translation Studies


“I am especially interested in the social diension, language equality, and linguistic diversity in the EKKO-project. What I like about the project is that it underline the importance of multi-disciplinarity in language teaching.”