NZ Sign Language - Term 1, 2021

Learn New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL)


Did you know?

March is Hearing Awareness Month This is all about putting a spotlight on hearing health and raising awareness for the experiences of 880,000+ New Zealanders who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing. Visit this website for ideas and support:

Only about 10% of Deaf children have Deaf parents. The Deaf community includes many hearing people who communicate solely in Sign Language with their loved ones. This statistic comes from the NZSL Facebook page.

NZ Sign Language Interpreting Scholarship

Professional Sign Language interpreters are in hot demand as they ensure the Deaf community has access to legal, educational and health systems here in Aotearoa.
This scholarship can help you or someone you know into a career in sign language interpreting.

If you are interested in the interpreting programme please contact: or give them a call on phone: 04 463 8558

Meet the Educator - Ursula Thynne

Ursula is a Teacher of the Deaf based at Kelston Boys High School, Auckland. She teaches students in the Deaf Provision within the school and contributes to the wider life of the college through her involvement with basketball.

Ursula originally trained as a science teacher but felt drawn to support Deaf students in schools and decided to train as a Teacher of the Deaf once she had become a registered teacher. “I believe it is a privilege to work with our students. I value each and every one of them and encourage their capacity to become the best version of themselves throughout their high school years.”

Deaf and Hard of hearing students face many challenges growing up. As Ursula says, “Being a teenager and finding out who you are is already a challenging journey for our young people. Deafness adds another layer of complexity to that and often our Deaf or Hard of hearing students are the only Deaf in their families.” Attending one of the Ko Taku Reo provisions in either Auckland or Christchurch gives students another whanau where they can share experiences and communicate freely without barriers. “There is a shared sense of identity and understanding that does not need to be explained.”

Ursula encourages all teachers to learn some NZSL to increase their ability to be inclusive in their classrooms. “The more students signing in schools the better as it allows the language to flourish and open the social circles wider so our Deaf students can socialise more widely in their school.”

So sign up and learn some NZSL today!

Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand Website

Click here to view resources for NZSL - FLS Centre for Languages

Article by Stephanie Mortimore, Acting Programme Manager, FLS - Centre for Languages

Photo: Ursula Thynne, Teacher of the Deaf, Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand