Also known as interpretive reading, oral interpretation allows an individual to express a work of written literature to an audience. This “oralization of literature” often, although not always, involves the speaker reading directly from a manuscript, and the staging may range from minimal to featuring props, lightning, and costumes. When interpreters recite to the audience, they imbue their act with the emotional and intellectual value of the original piece. Many performers research the author’s purpose in writing the original work in order to best present his or her vision.
High schools frequently participate in oral interpretation competitions. Students can typically choose to participate in one of several categories, including serious prose, dramatic interpretation, and humorous interpretation. Some tournaments even permit the use of original pieces. Along with the competitive element, oral interpretation can be utilized in other academic settings, such as to provide younger pupils with an understanding of various types of literature.
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