'Conversation-driven' ELT privileges classroom talk as a primary source of language learning, yet it is often unclear to what the term 'conversation' is referring. This article reports on an investigation responding to this problem in which a substantial database of language classroom recordings was analysed for the types of talk that were taking place. Activities in language lessons that were driven by conversation were analysed using classroom discourse techniques. Opportunities for language learning through the language emerging from these activities were identified, and a type of talk was specified in which learners were engaged more in exploring issues and possibilities, and less in transacting information and opinions. This study demonstrates the importance of teachers being aware of the types of talk occurring in their lessons, which they should be strategically managing. It provides teachers with a platform from which they can begin to analyse the talk in their own classrooms.