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New Zealand Sign Language (NSL) Week will be held between 10 to 16 May 2021.

The International Week of the Deaf and the United Nations International Day of Sign Languages held on 23 September. 

NZSL Week is organised by Deaf Aotearoa to raise awareness of the language and culture of New Zealand’s Deaf community. 

New Zealand Curriculum (NZC) Online resource page – provides a range of resources and ideas to help you celebrate this important language week at your school. 


Thumbs Up!

Thumbs Up! An Introduction to New Zealand Sign Language is a communicative language resource designed to help students and teachers express themselves in a new language and communicate with those who use NZSL in their daily lives. 

It also supports teacher learning. 

Learn NZSL! Use NZSL! Enjoy NZSL! – a short video clip in which an interpreter signs "Learn NZSL. Use NZSL. Enjoy NZSL Thumbs Up!"

NSL and the NZC

New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006 

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is recognised as an official language of New Zealand through this act. Thus, NZSL has special mention in The New Zealand Curriculum (2007).

Learning languages in the New Zealand Curriculum – when NZSL is taught as an additional language, it fits within the aims and objectives of NZ Curriculum.

Learning NZSL gives hearing people insight into the NZ Deaf community. In turn, this allows Deaf people to communicate with hearing people more easily. Thus, our society becomes more inclusive.

As more New Zealanders learn NZSL, one of our country’s official languages, a distinct Aotearoa New Zealand identity is built.

On this site

Browse the navigation tabs at the top of this page for ready access to units, the video gallery, and classroom resources.

The links on the left hand of this page provide access to information and resources relating to:

  • NZSL
  • Deaf culture
  • Teach and learn NZSL
  • Thumbs Up!

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