Introduction PhD supervision is undoubtedly a critical genre in academic speaking. Lee (2008) lists five main concepts to a “conceptual approach” to PhD supervision: functional, where the focus is on project management; enculturation, where the issue is about the student becoming a member of the disciplinary community; critical thinking, where the focus of the supervision is to encourage the student to critically analyze his/her and others’ work; emancipation, where the onus is put on the student to evolve; and finally, developing a quality relationship, where the student is inspired (Lee, 2008: 270, 271). Whichever approach one may adopt or prioritize and see as the main aim, achieving communicative effectiveness in PhD adviser-student interactions is an important prerequisite.