Inquiries into the impact of second language teacher education on the development of teachers' practices, beliefs, and knowledge have increased substantially in the last few years. However, most studies tend to investigate the process of second language teacher learning over a relatively short period of time, and only limited literature addresses methodological considerations in longitudinal research, making the design of this type of study potentially challenging for researchers. The aim of this paper is to first describe an ongoing project which explores the process of teachers learning to teach English pronunciation over a period of six years. Following an overview of the study design, five major challenges that I have faced while conducting the research project are discussed: (1) design issues; (2) access to teacher-participants; (3) time-related issues; (4) data management; and (5) personal involvement. Included in the discussion are methodological insights I have gained while carrying out the research and several navigational strategies I have used to overcome the aforementioned challenges. The purpose of providing this personal account is to shed light on my own experiences with navigating methodological challenges as a means of empowering researchers in designing and carrying out longitudinal research.


Longitudinal Research, Qualitative Research, Teacher Learning, Pronunciation

Author Bio(s)

Michael Burri is a Senior Lecturer in TESOL in the School of Education at the University of Wollongong (UOW), Australia. He has taught and conducted research in a variety of contexts in Australia, Canada, and Japan. His professional interests include pronunciation instruction, teacher education, educational neuroscience, innovative/context-sensitive pedagogy, and non-native English-speaking teacher issues. In 2016, Michael received the UOW School of Education Outstanding Thesis Award for his doctoral research examining the process of graduate students learning to teach English pronunciation, and in 2019 he was awarded the MAK Halliday Prize for Outstanding Research in Applied Linguistics. Please direct correspondence to mburri@uow.edu.au.


I would like to express my gratitude to the teachers participating in my research project, as well as thank Winnie Pang and Skye Playsted for their helpful feedback on an earlier draft of this paper. Phase 3 of this ongoing research project has been funded by a University of Wollongong Faculty of Social Sciences ECR Start-up Grant.

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