Our Schools:


Oral Interpretation I-III

Course Syllabus 2015-16


Instructor: Amberley Ferrell

Class Location: Room 812B

Office Phone: (817) 215-0212

E-mail: aferrell@nisdtx.org



Oral Interpretation is a competition class designed to prepare and polish the students who have auditioned to be a member of the Oral Interpretation team.  This course will develop the fundamental skills of Oral Interpretation.  Specifically, the course will explore a variety of topics including but not limited to characterization, internalization, dialects, vocal process, diction, IPA, movement for the performer, literature analysis, cutting literature, research, performance, competitive performances, technique, adapting literature, in addition to all of the key events Interpretation of Duo, Dramatic, Humorous, Prose, Poetry, Duet Acting and Original Oratory.



This course has been created to challenge students to analyze, process, and develop the performance qualities of multiple genres of literature in a competition environment: 

  •      To aid the student in becoming more verbal

  •      To develop critical thinking skills

  •      To create a sense of the value of all forms of literature

  •       To increase the use of self-evaluation 

  •       To foster a greater awareness of the importance of Listening skills




Will include but are not limited to the following:

1. Lectures

2. Work Sessions

3. Hands on Demonstrations     

4. Research Projects

5. Reading and preparing pieces

         6. Presentations to be facilitated by the student

7. Evaluation of live and competition performances

8. Multi-media and Podcast presentations

      9. Movement Exercises

      10. Competition/ Observing at Tournament




Please if at all possible avoid using this block for medical/dental appointments as we have limited time due to the nature of this course it is important that you be on time for class every day, and prepared to begin.  The tardy policy is standard per the school, report to the mix master for a tardy pass.  Attendance is vital to this course for several reasons.  The course is a competition course, and many topics will be covered during each six weeks.  Additionally, students involved in a Duo or Duet Acting have an obligation to be here for their partner so they can continue to develop the ensemble pieces.





A. Performances:  The course uses an application based curriculum.  In short, all students will be performing on some level every week. 


B. Effort: In order to receive a passing grade, students are expected to arrive on time with all supplies and assignments ready to participate in all activities with a high level of concentration. Class time is limited, so you must find sometime outside of class to work and prepare your material.  If a student does not understand an assignment, it is their responsibility to get clarification from the instructor when the assignment is given, not wait until the due date of the assignment.


C.  Competitions Requirements:  Each student enrolled in this course must attend TWO tournaments per six weeks.  The process for this requires the student to audition for a slot to perform, as only prepared pieces will be allowed to travel to competition.   If the quality of your performance is not ready, your major performance grade will be the combination of your audition for that tournament, and you will then attend the tournament as an observer and take notes of the performances.


D.  Late Work Policy:  Students will follow the District Policy in regards to late work.  You will be allowed to turn in the work one day late for a Maximum of 85%, work turned in after that will be a maximum grade of 70.   No work will be accepted after the summative has been posted in the gradebook.   You will still be responsible for the completion of all work regardless of credit. 


Grading Procedure:


                        *Competition Performances/Tests=60%
                        *Daily Grades/Class Participation/Work Sessions=40%


            Student Conduct:


Everyone in this class will demonstrate respectful and compassionate behaviors.  Many of the activities of this class are performance based and cooperative in nature.  Trust is essential; trust cannot exist without respect and compassion. The student will show respect and compassion for other students and the instructor at all times.


1.       The student will work with  partner(s) in a cooperative manner.

2.       The student will work independently, making maximum use of time.

3.       The student must come to class ready to progress with the others. 

4.       The instructor dismisses the class, not the bell.

5.       Food, candy, drinks and gum are not allowed in the classroom. 

6.       Respect the property of others.  If it¡¦s not yours, don¡¦t touch it! 

7.       Pick up after yourself and return all and furniture at the end of class

8.       Students will abide by the dress code in this class. . 


      The "Sub-Clause"

     I must sometimes miss class due to competitions and I expect complete cooperation with the substitute in my absence.  I do not believe in free days, or take excuses due to a sub running the class.  Simply, if you waste time you will make up that time with me, and then some, so please follow all instructions in accordance with this policy.






a. Electronic Devices: use of cell phones, ipods, and similar devices are prohibited in the classroom unless being utilized by the instructor or for presentation purposes. If they make themselves known during class time, they will be taken up per the NHS Student Handbook.

b. Classroom Behavior: Students will be treated with respect, and will be expected to reciprocate that same level of respect.


Discipline Sequence:

                          Verbal Warning

                                 Instructor/Student Conference

        Instructor/Student Conference with Parent Contact

        Instructor Detention before or after school



Tutorials: If a student needs to speak to the instructor, it is best to set up an appointment.  Due to my extra-curricular responsibilities, it is important that you schedule the tutorial ahead of time to ensure that I will be available.



After School Rehearsals:                                                                                                  

Each Student will be required to meet before or after school at least twice a week until they have cleared their events for competition.  Once all of the pieces they are using to compete with are competition ready they will only be required to attend rehearsals before major competitions or if they change their piece.  This year we have two boot camp sessions set up in the first two weeks of school to help the students prepare for the upcoming competitions, students must attend at least one of these sessions.  Regular practices will be Mondays 4:00-6:00 PM and we will also meet during the invest period during the school day.



Tournament Information:


Oral Interpretation I-Three Tournaments required per semester/One per six weeks

Oral Interpretation II/III-SixTournaments required per semester/Two per six weeks


The tournament schedule is posted on the calendar on my website.  We will have typically two tournaments each month from September 2015 to March 2016.  UIL Prose and Poetry has district competition at the end of March, regional competition in April and State in May. The National qualifier is the weekend before spring break, and if they qualify, the National Tournament is in June.  The tournaments are usually Friday and Saturday, however the times, will be determined for each individual competition based on their schedule and the travel distance.  For these reasons, some night time arrivals may fall between 10:00 PM to 12:00 AM just to make you aware ahead of time.




There is a one-time fee of $50.00 that will be required for each student.   This fee will cover the price of team dues and t-shirts/gear for travel and team events held throughout the year.  All students must have their fees turned in by check made payable to NHS Speech team.


Each individual event entered at the tournament carries with it an entry fee.  We have a budget and we do not ask parents or students to pay for these entry fees.  UNLESS, your student fails to compete at a tournament they registered for, because at that point they are locked in and a fee has been assessed.  If they inform me the week of the tournament that they are unable to compete the fees will have doubled and if we are three days or less away from the competition the fees will triple.  If your student is unable to compete they will be responsible for the fees lost due to their inability to meet their commitment.   So make sure you are diligent in your competition selections and check your family schedules for trips and events thoroughly.



We are very fortunate to have the support of NHS and our budget, so it is imperative you understand that paying drop fees can hurt the entire team.  I have to protect their collective opportunity to participate, and it would be unfair to use their budget paying penalties for students who were unable to satisfy their commitment.


In conclusion, Oral Interpretation is an elective course; however it is still very much an academic course.  So please be prepared to meet the expectations of this course.  I am very excited because each of your students was hand selected through an audition process to be a part of this class.  We have a talented group of students and the possibilities are endless.


Course Outline:


First Six Weeks:  Introduction to Interpretation/Types of Interpretation

                                        Selection of Events

                                        Literature Analysis

                                    IPA-Working Accents


Second Six Weeks:   Research and Character Development

                                  Character Analysis

                                            Cutting Literature

                                           Working Pieces for Performance



Third Six Weeks:       Performance of the Text

                                        Internalization and Character Investment

                                   Processing and developing the material

                               Writing Quality Introductions


 Fourth Six Weeks:   Polishing Performances

                                        Adapting Literature                                          

                                        Competition Performances

                                            Classroom Tour Performances


Fifth Six Weeks:       Character Voices and Dialects

                                  Preparing for Major Tournaments

                                                Elements of Critiques

                                           Ballot Evaluations


Sixth Six Weeks:      Choosing Competition Literature

                                 Competition Cutting

                                       Criteria when evaluating performances

                                   Style and Techniques

                                               Using the Evaluation



Parent Involvement:

            We need your help, this year I will be having a meeting with parents on Thursday, September 3rd@ 6:30 in room 812B. I would love to have every parent there to help us this year. We need the support to help our team go to the next level. Your student will be bringing a reminder to you about the meeting.


 Please print this page and return the form to class with your student, or you can e-mail me at aferrell@nisdtx.org and your e-mail will substitute for your signature.


I have read over the information in the Syllabus for Oral Interpretation.  I understand the instructor's policies on grading, tournaments, fees and overall expectations for this course.


Student Name (Printed): _________________________________________

Parent Signature:  ______________________________________________

Parent Name (Printed): __________________________________________

    Parent E-mail: __________________________________________________  

Parent Contact Number: ___________________________________ 

I would like to volunteer to help with tournaments, team trips, fundraisers, and/or team parties?

______Yes, I can help with: _______________________________________________________



If you are parent of a Varsity student then we need a commitment to help the team by Judging at least once per semester.  The schedule is on my home page.  Please select a tournament for the fall and one for the spring, list them in the space below.
1. ______________________________________________
2. ______________________________________________