How university students in Cali, Colombia joined me in talking about genre

This series, Conversations about Genre, tells the tale of 26 students and their teacher from the Universidad del Valle in Cali, Colombia, who explored and critiqued the idea of written genres and invited me to join the conversation with them.

Through a set of emails and letters, these current university…


Or 3 years

​It’s my anniversary! No, I don’t mean my wedding anniversary (though that was just a week ago. Happy anniversary, sweetie!) It’s my blog’s anniversary, which is either three years old or just over two years old. So I thought I’d share lessons I learned from birthing and raising a blog.


A response letter from Amy

I hope you have been able to read the students’ letters in the preceding 6 episodes in this series .After reading such rich and engaged letters from the students, I found myself thinking deeply about their insights and perceptions — and about their questions.The result is a rather long letter…


A video letter from Valentina, Jhoan, Sandra, and Valentina

One student group created a video they call a “conversational letter” to ask their questions. Appropriately for their use of more recent technology, many of their questions were about how ideas have changed and evolved over the past many decades. …


An audio letter from Faubricio, Stephannie, Andres Felipe, Dick Morales, and Luisa

One of the letters from students arrived in two forms, an audio recording and a written transcript of that recording. The students called what they had composed an “audio letter.” Of course, the voices give new resonance to…


A letter from Leyla, Maria Paula, Pau and Valentina

In this letter, the students reveal the struggle that all of us have with trying to reconceive of genre. And they were reading some tough stuff! Then they tell the tale of trying to write their letter in a different genre, as a comic, discovering that (as they so vividly…


A Letter from Ángela, Favian, Daniela and Miguel

Part of the special fun with this letter from the students is how they played with the genre they were writing. …


A Letter from Alejandra, Melany, Jazmín and Jhoana

The students in this letter describe their learning of genre as something “rigid and pure,” and they speak to the issue of subjectivity and describe a notion of “collective subjectivity” in genre that shapes individual subjectivity.

Escuela de Ciencias del Lenguaje

Departamento de Idiomas

Universidad del Valle

Santiago de Cali…


A Letter from Sara, Juan Diego, Carol, Fanny and Leidy

Below is one letter I received from five students in Colombia. You can see the insightful critiques they offer of society through genre.

March 8, 2021

Dear Ms. Devitt,

Hope this message finds you well. We are Sara, Juan Diego, Carol, Fanny and Leidy, students of Foreign Languages from Universidad…


An Invitation from Colombia, from Julián Felipe Ávila Aguilar

To my surprise one morning, I received an email from a teacher in Cali, Colombia, inviting me to have a conversation with students at the university taking a course on Genres in English.

Good morning, Ms. Devitt.

It is my biggest pleasure to be able to write you an email…

Amy J. Devitt

Writer, teacher, researcher, PhD, optimist. I explore language & everyday genres to help people see & choose the language & genres they use. www.amydevitt.com

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