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New Zealand Sign Language Week

This page might include information, links, and events that are specific to 2019. It will be updated as soon as 2020 information becomes available.

This year, New Zealand Sign Language Week is being held between the 6th and 12th of May. This year’s NZSL Week theme is ‘My Language, My Place’.

NZSL Week raises awareness of New Zealand’s Deaf community and provides a platform for Deaf people to proudly promote their language and culture. 

NZ Sign Language Week logo.

"New Zealand needs more people who are fluent users of the language and who have an appreciation of deaf culture. By learning NZSL, hearing students are able to communicate with their deaf peers and participate in the deaf community. Skilled communicators may find career opportunities that involve working with deaf people."

The New Zealand Curriculum, p. 14.

Latest resource

Learn NZSL
Learn NZSL is a free learning portal on New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL). Watch, learn and practise how to use NZSL in common situations through the use of videos, resources, and exercises. 

Deaf Aotearoa resources and activities

Deaf Aotearoa focuses on promoting awareness and advancement of New Zealand Sign Language to help strengthen the rights of deaf people.

NZSL Week poster 2018.

Deaf Aotearoa on Facebook
Follow Deaf Aotearoa on Facebook to find out about NZSL Week events. 

Sign Ninja
Sign Ninja is a free online game that helps you learn NZSL. You can play Sign Ninja on computers, tablets and smart phones. 

Taster classes
Deaf Aotearoa provides free 45 minute NZSL classes to schools and other organisations each May. Classes are limited, so sign up now.

Ministry of Education resources 

Thumbs Up! An Introduction to New Zealand Sign Language
This resource supports the teaching and learning of NZSL as an additional language in English-medium schools. It is designed for students in years 7–8 working at curriculum levels 1 and 2. The resource includes units, videos, and worksheets.

The King's Birthday book.

Ready to Read e-books
The Ministry of Education, in collaboration with Deaf Aotearoa, have developed six e-books, from the Ready to Read series. These apps are available on iTunes (for Apple devices) or GooglePlay (for Android devices) and are free to download.

In your resource rooms ...

Just Like Everyone Else – School Journal Level 3, April 2012
This report describes how students from St Pius School learned how to use NZSL to communicate with their classmate Zoe. It explains how signing helped Zoe enjoy school routines and the fun of school life. Photos, diagrams, and additional information about NZSL provide an insight into the way that people who are deaf can participate fully in everyday life. 

Other resources

Have you seen?

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing and learning
This inclusive education guide supports teachers to review and adjust their classrooms to make them more effective for communication and social interactions and to develop successful strategies to facilitate learning.

New Zealand Sign Language Teachers' Association
The NZSLTA website provides NZSL resources, captioned movies, and information about events and competitions.

There is also a New Zealand Sign Language Teachers Association facebook page

Updated on: 29 Apr 2019