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· Volume III Issue I


This study determined the essence of lived experiences of six Grade 6 teachers, struggling learners, and parents in the Division of Calamba City as to English language learning of struggling learners. As an output of the study, a compendium of instructional activities as a guide for teachers to support language development and to make successful learning was proposed. The research design used was qualitative with phenomenology as an approach using the interpretative phenomenological approach.

The findings showed the intense needs of the learners to better understand the importance of learning the English language, training for English teachers in the English language that will enhance the teaching methods that will improve teaching practices and be able to reach most of their students incorporating the learning styles and strategies of the learners, and Parents need to be motivated and actively involved in implementing effective learning strategies and styles.


English has become the preferred language of choice for international communication in a variety of domains, thus gaining the status of a lingua franca. As such, English language skills have been recognized as essential skills to acquire to be successful in a globalized society (Lee, 2016). Inside the schools, English Language Learners were entitled to equal access to educational opportunities – achieving content-area knowledge and English proficiency (Wayne, 2015).

Based on 2019 results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Filipinos fared worst among 79 countries in reading literacy using the English language in reading assessment and second lowest in both mathematical and scientific literacy that use English as a medium of instruction (Philstar, 2019).

According to Gaerlan (2016) that not all Filipino learners were successful in learning in English which was their second language and was the medium of instruction in Philippine schools. It was undeniable that there were problems that arose as students strive to learn English, considering that many factors were affecting their reading, writing, and speaking skills.  

Moreover, the results of the Philippine Informal Reading Inventory (Phil-IRI) Post – Test S.Y 2019-2020 with the total number of 6534 Grade 6 pupils tested in Division of Calamba showed 3858 or 15 % struggled from reading and 5383 or 21% struggled from comprehending. While in Calamba East 2, with the total number of 1, 080 pupils tested showed that 81 or 7.5% struggled from reading and 159 or 14.7 struggled from comprehending.

As an elementary teacher for about three years the researcher has observed that the English proficiency of most public-school learners has been declining. There have been grade six students who are still classified as non-readers. Despite the efforts of the teachers, there are still many students who find it difficult to learn the English language. Learners leave elementary with poor proficiency in English, and they are not able to construct a full sentence in English even after a long time learning the language. Their vocabulary in English is very limited so they may leave out keywords in their sentences and may say sentences with confusing ideas.  It is the aim of this study to understand the underlying reasons for such difficulties.

This study focused on the lived experience of grade 6 struggling learners in learning the English language. This tackled the challenges these learners face, amid their difficulties in learning the English language. From these experiences, the researcher drew out meanings and clustered these meanings into themes which were the bases for devising instructional materials that will help learners learn the English language.

Theoretical Framework

This study was anchored on the Cognitive Developmental Theory of Piaget (1972) which recognized that children were naturally curious about the world and are active and motivated learners (Cherry 2019). Children have the ability to manage knowledge like symbols, images, experiences, and meaning into an increasingly complex cognitive structure called schemata.

A schema was an organized unit of knowledge. The child used this to be able to understand a situation or an experience and which will serve as a basis for organizing actions to respond to the environment.” 

In this aspect, Piaget emphasized that learning acquisition was more effective when it was done socially. In other words, the people around the learner are greatly associated with the type of language the latter will use. Such factors included: the learner’s parents, relatives, community, classmates, and teachers. Learners can understand the language by combining the new information.   

Another theory wherein this study was anchored on was the theory of social constructivism by Lev Vygotsky, which emphasized learning based on the context through the interaction with others. Vygotsky believed that learning occurs when a student is in the zone of proximal development. Zone of Proximal Development was a real-life-inter-development area defined as the ability to solve problems independently and the level of potential development under the guidance and collaboration of capable adults or peers. In this, students can, with the help of adults or children who are more advanced, master concepts and ideas that they cannot understand on their own. Students need access to physical experience and interaction with the experience possessed by capable individuals. Cooperative learning is emerging, and students work together to achieve the desired learning objectives by students.

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