The aims of this article are to summarize the historical development of discussions on 'communicative competence' of language learners, focusing on 'strategic competence,' and also to explain different approaches to the study of communication strategies.
A lot of different ideas have been presented on the concept of communicative competence so far. However, it is agreed today that communicative competence of language learners consists of several major sub-components, one of which is strategic competence. The first part of this article chronologically summarizes eight influential ideas in the field, with the focus on strategic competence: Chomsky (1965), Hymes (1967), Canale and Swain (1980), Canale (1983), Savignon (1983), Bachman (1990), Bachman and Palmer (1996), and Celce-Murcia, M., Zoltdn Dörnyei, and Sarah Thurrell (1995).
In the second half of this paper, it is shown how foreign language researchers and practitioners are paying more attention to nurturing learners' strategic competence, as communicative language teaching is widely accepted in classrooms. There are two major approaches within communication strategy studies: the interaction-focused approach and the psycholinguistic (process-focused) approach. In this paper, Iwai (2000)'s future research direction in the field of communication strategies is revisited.
Lastly, a brief summary is presented concerning how to collect data for communication strategy studies.