HomeInternational Journal of Education Research for Higher Learningvol. 23 no. 2 (2017)

Affective Filters of English Language Learners: Voices of College Students In Context

Joan N Sison



The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe and to understand the lived experiences of college students in dealing with their affective filters as they learn English as a second language. It also sought to find insights of students on their language learning travails as well as explore the effective English as a Second Language learning strategies beneficial to lowering students’ affective filters. Purposive sampling technique yielded 10 participants in the in depth interview and 7 in the focus group discussions in selected higher learning institutions in Davao City. Thematic analysis propelled various themes to emerge from this study. For the Lived Experiences of Students in Struggling with their Affective Filter, the themes were Stage Fright, Coping Mechanism (Independence versus Interaction), Refusal to Converse with the English Professor, Embarrassing or Discouraging Moments in Class and Motivating Moments in Class. Students’ insights from their learning travails that will explain their lived experiences include Request for Correction without Humiliation, Need to Practice Speaking in English, Need for Confidence-boosting, Fun Activities, Empathy versus Alienation and Beyond Students’ Level. Effective English as a Second Language (ESL) Learning and Teaching Strategies to Combat Affective Filters Drawn from the Participants’ Narration comprise Relaxing Environment, English Linguistic Environment, How Professors Heighten Students’ Motivation, Learning Strategies to Lower Affective Filters and Relating English Language Learning to Real Life.