Waikato Journal of Education


data collection
qualitative research
digital methods
applied linguistics
language integrated learning


World-wide responses to the global pandemic, such as travel restrictions, border closures and lockdowns, have posed new challenges to researchers. For qualitative researchers conducting fieldwork, gathering data in person can be inapplicable (Howlett, 2021). My research investigates English as a Foreign Language (EFL) pre-service teachers’ beliefs and negotiation of meaning in Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) within the Thai secondary education context. Because of the pandemic I was unable to travel to Thailand to gather data, so I had to change my data collection methods to video conferencing interviews and classroom video observations. This article discusses this unexpected shift in research methods through my reflections on conducting digital-based research during the Covid-19 pandemic. It focuses on two main aspects: 1) grappling with emotional distress caused by the unprecedented phenomenon, and 2) redesigning research methods for digital fieldwork. Ethical issues regarding digital-based research are also discussed. The implications highlight the importance of resilience, flexibility and proactivity to surmount unexpected situations during a research journey.

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