NZ Sign Language - Term 2, 2020

It is our pleasure to introduce this new section devoted to NZ Sign Language.  As the majority of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) students are in mainstream schools, many do not have full access to specialist services to help them thrive rather than just survive in schools.  One of the intentions of this section is to broaden the understanding of Deaf and Hard of Hearing students in Aotearoa New Zealand.

NZSL is one of the Official Languages of Aotearoa New Zealand, so another hope is that this section may inspire you to learn some Sign Language and help you build a stronger connection with the DHH students in your school.  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 (Census 2006).

There are two Deaf Education Centres in New Zealand – Van Asch in Christchurch and Kelston in Auckland.  Both these centres have satellite units in schools around Auckland and Christchurch and regional services that provide support to students in mainstream schools throughout the country.  In July this year the two centres will be merged into one national school called Ko Tāku Reo.  All teachers in the satellite units use NZSL to support the learning of the students and students receive specialist teaching in NZSL from a group of teachers and tutors.  Students can sit NZSL Achievement Standards as part of their NCEA qualification and NZSL is now a University Approved subject.

If you are a NZSL teacher in need of professional support please contact us at Future Learning Solutions:
If you have an interest in introducing NZSL to your classroom, we can help!  Contact us at the email address above.

Did you know?

  • DHH is the acronym for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students
  • About 95% of DHH students in New Zealand are mainstreamed in schools throughout the country
  • The United Nations has announced 23 September as the International Day of Sign Languages

Learn Sign

The NZSL Online Dictionary is available as an app or online:


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Support for Teachers:

See our padlet for support in the current online teaching climate: NZSL Padlet

Sign Ninja is a great online game for learners of NZSL: Sign Ninga

NZ Sign Language Week should have been 4-10 May but has been postponed for the moment.