Students’ Lived Experiences in English Program in a Thai Primary School: A Phenomenological Study

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Apapan Sailabada
Kittitouch Soontornwipast


The purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of Thai primary school students who have studied in an English Program (EP) in a university demonstration school in Thailand. EP is regarded as one of Thailand’s educational reform goals that will enhance Thai students’ English competency through using English as a tool of instruction for teaching and learning in two core subjects, Science and Maths. The program started in primary level and continued to secondary level. A phenomenological methodology was employed to explore the students’ lived experiences (n = 10). Semi-structured interviews, classroom observations and document analysis were used for data collection. The data was analyzed using Moustakas (1994)’s phenomenological analysis steps. The findings revealed the essence of the phenomenon. That is, studying in English Program (EP) entailed nine themes under four dimensions as follows: Academic Dimension; Social Dimension; Emotional Dimension, and Personal Dimension. Some implications are discussed concerning the appropriate EP program policy and the inclusion of the voices of teachers and school administrators. Some limitations are also mentioned.


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Sailabada, A., & Soontornwipast, K. (2023). Students’ Lived Experiences in English Program in a Thai Primary School: A Phenomenological Study. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 16(1), 631–651. Retrieved from
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Apapan Sailabada, Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

A graduate with MSEd. in Literacy, Culture and Language Education from Indiana University, U.S.A. She is particularly interested in teaching English to young learners and material development for language teaching and learning for primary schools.

Kittitouch Soontornwipast, Language Institute, Thammasat University, Thailand

An Assistant Professor at Language Institute, Thammasat University.


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