Exploring a Smart CALL environment through the critical lens of Affordance-Actualization Theory
This paper is exploratory-theoretical in nature in that it attempts to determine the efficacy of the Affordance-Actualization Theory (Strong et al., 2014, 2017) in contextualizing a CALL environment. The concept of affordance is widely used in different research fields, including education and technology, to mainly investigate the relationship between an artefact and the animal (i.e., humans) in an environment. While this is a popular concept for analyzing different contexts, the adaptation of the concept into different research fields caused variations in its definitions which some scholars criticize that they obscured the original tenet. However, the original concept has received criticism that it is not well defined. This paper, therefore, first revisited the construct of affordances to see how this concept is used in different disciplines. The paper then explores the Affordance-Actualization Theory proposed by Strong et al. (2014) to see if it is suitable for examining CALL contexts. This theory was selected for examination because Strong et al. claim that it attempted to fill the gaps that exist in the current IT version of affordances by focusing on how affordances are actualized over time, how individual users of technology achieve the goals set by the organization, and how organizational goals are achieved due to the introduction of the technology. The paper discusses the suitability of the theory by conducting a sample analysis of a smart CALL learning environment.