Victoria launches exciting New Zealand Sign Language resource

Issue: Volume 96, Number 8

Posted: 15 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9d7m

Victoria University of Wellington continues its leading role in the documentation, research and resource development of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) with the launch of an innovative learning resource by its Deaf Studies Research Unit (DSRU).

Learn NZSL is a new and free online resource launched by Victoria University of Wellington on 6 April, the 11th anniversary of NZSL becoming an official language of New Zealand.

Learn NZSL project manager and School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies lecturer Sara Pivac Alexander says the eLearning resource is the first of its kind to provide a large-scale, free, interactive and sequential learning experience for NZSL.

“It’s a new way for New Zealanders to learn how to better communicate with members of the Deaf community,” Sara says.

“Since NZSL became an official language in 2006, demand for sign language learning has increased. However, there is a small pool of NZSL teachers nationwide and the number of classes are limited, which means NZSL learning opportunities have not been easily accessible. Learn NZSL aims to change that, allowing New Zealanders to learn from anywhere 24/7."

“Approximately 95 per cent of Deaf children are born to hearing parents. It can be difficult for hearing parents to access local NZSL classes, so this resource will help them increase their understanding and ability to communicate with their child and the Deaf community.”

The course will cover everyday vocabulary, phrases and conversations and is split into nine topics, supported by interactive tasks and 660 videos. Award-winning local eLearning company, Kineo Asia Pacific has worked in partnership with the DSRU to develop the learning resources.

Other leading NZSL resources from Victoria include a state-of-the-art online NZSL dictionary that was published in 2011. Find that by visiting the NZSL online website(external link) 

Learn NZSL(external link) has been funded by the NZSL Board, a Ministry of Social Development advisory group, which granted the project $230,000, and a donation from the TAB Book Project Committee.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 8:21 pm, 15 May 2017

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