Oral Interpretation

I.     Course Prefix/Number: SPE 104

       Course Name: Oral Interpretation

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course focuses on analysis and appreciation of literary art through oral presentation. Selections drawn from representative examples of prose, poetry and drama. Content includes development of voice and body, effective use of the speaking voice, various evaluation and reading techniques, presentation skills, and integrated body movements.

IV.   Learning Objectives

  1. To define in theory/practice the specific nature of the concept of oral interpretation as differentiated from public speaking and acting.
  2. To define the roles and responsibilities of the speaker-as-oral-inter
  3. To provide a workable methodology of selecting/analyzing classical literary forms (prose, poetry, drama) in preparation for oral presentations.
  4. To provide instruction/practice in good "basic" speaking techniques, i.e. preparedness, voice, intelligibility, gesture, posture, energy, etc.
  5. To provide opportunity for presentation/evaluation of oral interpretation.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. Defining Interpretation
  2. Defining poetry, prose and drama
  3. Social perspectives
  4. Psychological
  5. Political perspectives
  6. The art of analysis
  7. The characteristics of evaluation
  8. The performance of literary forms

VII.  Methods of Instruction

  1. Lecture
  2. Discussion
  3. Video/audio tapes
  4. Class presentations
  5. Field trips and guest artists

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

  1. Reading - five to seven examples of each literary form.
  2. Writing - six written analysis - each at least four pages in length pertaining to the literary form being performed.
    —self evaluation papers - 2 pages in length
    —class critiques by other speakers
  3. Speaking - eight to ten performances oral interpretation of various literary forms
    1. Presentations/Time
      Discussion of literary form
      Descriptive or Factual Prose—this includes critical written analysis along with an oral presentation—(4 - 6 minutes)
      . . .oral presentation
      . . .written analysis
    2. Narrative prose— (5 - 10 minutes)
      . . .oral presentation
      . . .written analysis
    3. Monologue—(5 - 8 minutes)
      . . .oral presentation
      . . .written analysis
    4. Dramatic dialogue—(10 - 15 minutes)
      . . .oral presentation
      . . .written analysis
    5. Poetry—(8-15 minutes)
      . . .oral presentation
      . . .written analysis
    6. Original work (poetry or prose)—(4 - 6 minutes)
      . . .oral presentation
      . . .written analysis

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Suggested texts: check with the chairman for current list.
Computer usage clinic (Learning Lab)
Library Introduction to Anthology

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

  1. Grade on text, quizzes and final
  2. Grade on one research paper
  3. Grade on critical analysis of literary form
  4. Grade on oral presentations
  5. Grade on class participation
  6. Grade affected by attendance

XI.   Other Course Information

Attendance is required in this class.  The speech department maintains a formal attendance policy.  This policy will be strictly adhered to.  Please familiarize yourself with it at this time.

Speech 104 is a performance course, which requires a prepared, responsive audience to be effective.  Hence, you must participate in this course in three areas:  1) as speaker;  2) audience;  3) in class activities.  You will be held responsible for your attendance; the grade will be affected negatively for absences in excess of those allowed.

You are allowed three (3) absences with no penalty.  1) “Arriving late” to and “leaving early” from class sessions will be taken into account when attendance is tabulated.  2)  Four late arrivals and/or leaving early will be counted as one absence.  Each absence is excess of the allowed number (3) will result in a reduction of the final grade by one full grade.

In some special medical and emergency situations, the instructor will consider a request to omit an incident of tardiness, absence or leaving early from your record.  (Not grade impact on assignment.)

Grading Policy:

  1. The final grade will be based on the student’s level of proficiency is communicating and his/her knowledge of the principles of effective communication as demonstrated in the oral assignments and in written work.  Improvement is necessary to receive high grades as assignments get more difficult.
  2. In determining the student’s final grade, speaking ability will be given slightly more weight than written work.  BUT A STUDENT MUST BE PASSING IN BOTH SPOKEN AND WRITTEN WORK TO RECEIVE A PASSING GRADE IN THE COURSE.

Late Assignments:
Papers not turned in on the due date will be lowered one grade and must be in by the next class session, or a grade of “F” will be recorded.

Oral presentations not delivered on the due date will be lowered one grade and must be ready on the next class session (if instructor feels time allows), or he will re-schedule at class convenience —if speeches are not ready at this time, an “F” grade will be recorded.

Writing Assignments:
College level work will be expected on all assignments.  Grammar and style will influence your grade.  Sloppy work will be returned at a reduced grade and must be resubmitted.


  • All work will be typed unless otherwise stated.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at www.oakton.edu/title9/.

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at www.oakton.edu/lgbtq.

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.