NZSL – communicate across Aotearoa

Find out about the benefits of learning New Zealand Sign Language, NZSL, and how we can support schools with language classes for students, teachers and support for deaf students. Let us know how we can help you!

Did you know that the Deaf Community in New Zealand uses New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) to communicate visually with each other and hearing people who know NZSL? 

Learning NZSL is not only fun, but it can also lead to exciting opportunities, such as working with Deaf people as an NZSL Interpreter, Communication/Education Support Worker, Teacher of the Deaf, and Mental Health/Healthcare workers. By learning NZSL as a subject, you can take the first step towards a fulfilling career. And if you enjoy it, you can take it further as a subject in NCEA. Take advantage of the chance to learn this valuable skill and make a difference in the lives of those around you!

Image by: Helen Goldsworthy

Our NZSL eTeacher Janine Campbell has over two decades experience in Deaf Education and connects to learners across the motu through Kōtui Ako VLN.

Janine teaches our online classes and is available for after school classes for teachers and can tutor and support students preparing for NCEA NZSL and deaf students preparing for NCEA. We would like to hear from you about the needs in your school, please let us know through this short survey. Or contact Rachel directly.

Our online classes are still open for registration. Students are invited to participate in small groups in mixed school classes (numbers permitting Term 2 or Term 3 start), or with their classroom teacher as a ‘whole class’ (start at a time that suits you). These classes are suitable for all ākonga, younger tamariki would need support to participate.

“Sign language is a visual language that uses hand gestures, facial expressions, and body movements to communicate meaning.

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is the natural language of the Deaf community in New Zealand; so it reflects the country’s culture by including signs for Māori concepts which can not be found in other sign languages or countries.

 Halfmoon Bay NZSL learners raising money for Hearing Dogs NZ. — Image by: Halfmoon Bay School

As one of the country’s official languages, more than 24,000 New Zealanders use NZSL daily. It is also the 12th most frequently used language out of approximately 190 languages currently used in New Zealand” (Deaf Aotearoa NZ) 

Virtual Learning Network (VLN) Primary in action Education Gazette NZ

Halfmoon Bay School ākonga in their online NZSL class during Covid.