New Zealand Sign Language 4


Photo of two women sitting in a group, one of them is signingOverview:
This course follows on from New Zealand Sign Language 3. It continues to improve your receptive and expressive skills at a pre-intermediate level.

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is the language of the New Zealand Deaf community and was recognised as an official language in 2006.

Learning materials:
You will be given weekly homework tasks to complete in your own time. The Learn NZSL website will be reviewed in your own time. All printed course materials are provided.

Target audience:
New Zealand Sign Language 4 is suitable for those who have completed NZSL3 or its equivalent (approximately 60 hours tuition in NZSL), and who wish to continue to study NZSL for personal or business reasons.

Learning objectives:
By the end of this course you should be able to:

  1. Give, ask and summarise personal information about self and others
  2. Describe and identify people in order to share information about them
  3. Communicate about events, celebrations and holidays
  4. Talk about destinations (places) and modes of travel
  5. Describe and discuss plans
  6. Narrate about life events including their language learning journey
  7. Talk about extended family/whanau and basic family history
  8. Recognise and use NZSL grammar: topic-comment structure, descriptive classifiers, listing principle, spatial verbs, spatial reference, event/chronological sequencing structures, one-character role shifting, number forms
  9. Understand the cultural context for using NZSL with Deaf people

You will continue to learn NZSL grammar, acquire knowledge about Deaf culture and the Deaf community, and develop an awareness of NZSL communication behaviours.

Course outline:
Each session involves interactive group learning with educational games and plenty of movement! All classes are in NZSL only. To reinforce your learning, homework is encouraged. There is no formal assessment.

There is a short break half-way through each session and tea and coffee are provided. You are welcome to bring further refreshments if you wish.

Class limit:
This course is limited to a maximum of 16 participants, so please enrol early.

Sonia Pivac is a native NZSL signer and a qualified NZSL tutor who has been instrumental in New Zealand Sign Language translation, creating NZSL resources and services promoting NZSL. 

Relevant links:
Learn NZSL
The Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language
Language Learning Centre
Deaf Studies Research Unit
School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

For further information:
Continuing Education, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140.
Phone 04 463 6556,  Email:

Please note: Courses need a minimum number of enrolments to go ahead. If your course doesn’t reach the number required, we’ll have to cancel it. If this happens, we’ll contact you by phone or email about a week before the scheduled start date and arrange a full refund. Please check your emails regularly.