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ERIC Number: EJ1001586
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 17
ISSN: ISSN-0003-1003
The Orbital Experience: Building Community through Communication and Connections in High School Spanish Classes
Gomez, Diane W.; Gujarati, Joan; Heckendorn, Rick
American Secondary Education, v41 n1 p96-117 Fall 2012
This article highlights the Orbital Experience (OE), a unique experience that explores the affective domains of second language acquisition, including communication in the target language, making interdisciplinary connections, and fostering a community of learners. Through Orbitals, students serve as experts by researching a topic of interest, delivering an oral presentation extemporaneously to the class, and writing a paper connecting their topic to other content areas. This article reports a qualitative study of 41 high school students studying Spanish. Findings reveal that OE reduced anxiety in their Spanish oral communication by creating a unique social context in which they began to feel a sense of community as they learned more about their peers' interests. Implications include scaffolding communication, increasing motivation, and application of OE to other high school subject areas. (Contains 2 tables.)
Ashland University Dwight Schar College of Education. 229 Dwight Schar Building, 401 College Avenue, Ashland, OH 44805. Tel: 419-289-5273; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York