Here’s a XKCD strip:


It’s often said that you can’t ‘teach conversation’ yet I think this is only partly true. Of course it’s not possible to teach how to have a conversation, that comes naturally and unfolds as the situation and participants interact, but it’s also the case that quite a lot of ‘conversation’ is a socially-enacted activity with certain expectations of which learners must become aware.

For more see: McCarthy, M., 1991, Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers, CUP