Tarone (1977), further elaborated by Tarone (1983), classified communication strategies as follows:
1. Paraphrase a. Approximation … use of a single target language vocabulary item or structure, which the learner knows is not correct, but which shares enough semantic features in common with the desired item to satisfy the speaker (e.g. pipe for water pipe ) b. Word coinage … the learner makes up a new word in order to communicate a desired concept (e.g. "airball" for balloon ) c. Circumlocution … the learner describes the characteristics or elements of the objects or action instead of using the appropriate target language item or structure (e.g. She is smoking something. I don't know what's its name. ) 2. Borrowing a. Literal translation … the learner translates word for word from the native language b. Language switch … the learner uses the native language term without bothering to translate c. Appeal for assistance … the learner asks for the correct term (e.g. What is this? What called? ) d. Mime … the learner uses non-verbal strategies in place of a lexical item or action 3. Avoidance a. Topic avoidance … the learner simply tries not to talk about concepts for which the target language item or structure is not known b. Message abandonment … the learner begins to talk about a concept but is unable to continue and stops in mid-utterance
As indicated by Tarone's use of the term, "the learner," these strategies are used when second-language learners attempt to communicate with speakers of the target language. In conversation, speakers and listeners have to work together to exchange a message. Tarone (1983:65) explains as follows: I would like to broaden the definition of communication strategies; therefore, to make it clear that the term relates to a mutual attempt of two interlocutors to agree on a meaning in situations where requisite meaning structures do not seem to be shared. (Meaning structures here would include both linguistic structures and sociolinguistic rule structure) Communication strategies, viewed from this perspective, may be seen as attempts to bridge interlocutor in real communication situations. Approximation, mime, and circumlocution may be used to bridge this gap. Message abandonment and avoidance may be used where the gap is perceived as unbridgeable.
As Tarone mentions above, there...