Perception and attitude are linked with each other to influence second language learning. In local ESL context, perception and attitude of learners towards learning English language are heavily depending on their environment, economic status and experience.  The new National Education Blueprint (2013-2025) has outlined five system aspirations in achieving 50% of reduction in achievement gaps that include urban-rural, socioeconomic and gender.This calls for immediate attention to students from low economic status in effort to close the achievement gap and improve the teaching-learning strategies to cater their specific needs. This preliminary study investigates the underprivileged students from orphanages in the area of Selangor, Malaysia. A total of 30 respondents aged between 13 to 17 years old took part in this study. Data was collected via a questionnaire survey and interviews and was analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings suggest that students have positive attitude in ESL learning and they were aware of its importance. However, their interests in ESL learning are limited due to poor access of resources. Hence, these students have little opportunities to learn the language. Some recommendations are made for future policy and practice.