Conversations about Genre, part 9

A response letter from Amy

Amy J. Devitt, Ph.D.

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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 that reflects on how my thinking has changed (and not changed), the teaching practices that have stuck with me, and what genre has meant to me. The length of this letter definitely violates the expectations of Medium readers, but I respond to all the students’ letters at once, and I want my letter to be just one part of this conversation about genre.

Amy J. Devitt, April 2, 2021

April 2, 2021

Dear students of Julián Felipe Ávila Aguilar from the “Géneros Discursivos Escritos en inglés VI” course from Universidad del Valle (Sara, Juan Diego, Carol, Fanny and Leidy, Ángela, Favian, Daniela and Miguel, Leyla, Maria Paula, Pau and Valentina, Faubricio Trullo, Stephannie, Andres Felipe, Dick Morales, and Luisa, Alejandra, Melany, Jazmín and Jhoana, and Valentina, Jhoan, Sandra, and Valentina — and I hope I got all of your names and all in your preferred forms!):

Thank you for writing to me so thoughtfully and vividly. I have never had the pleasure of hearing so directly from all the students in a class studying my work before. It is a treat for me. I appreciate the time and care you took to understand my article and theory of genre, as well as to write/record your letters to me. I’m happy that you found the ideas eye-opening, and, especially, that you recognize that you are and should be actively contributing to every genre you write — like this one! Since I understand that many if not all of you are future teachers, your understanding and use of genre matter even more than for most people.

I’d like to thank your teacher, Julian Avila, too. Not only did he make contact and create this opportunity for us to exchange ideas, but he also taught my article in the context of others. I’m honored to be in the company in your reading of Michel Foucault and David Bleich, and I’m very happy to have been “the cherry on the top of the cake,” as Leyla, Maria Paula, Pau and Valentina so cheerfully expressed it. I’m sorry I…

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Amy J. Devitt, Ph.D.

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