My job as a teacher at the novice level is to provide my students with the building blocks to creating conversation. That is, to give them set questions, phrases, sentence starters, and conversation structures that they will eventually use to create their own language (pushing them into the intermediate level). Not only do I provide the language chunks, but also the opportunities to use that language. Almost every activity we do is based on creating conversation. The distinction between conversation and speaking is important, as my goal is to encourage a language exchange between two or more people, rather than a one-sided answer.
In fact, we will be playing a little table tennis in class to help the students visualize this concept. Students will pass a ball back and forth each time they speak and keep the conversation going. They will tally their volleys and we will have a bit of a competition. How many conversation extenders can they use? What other questions can they ask on the topic? This is not just a skill for the language classroom, but for life.