New Zealand Sign Language 5



New Zealand Sign Language 5 aims to extend receptive and expressive skills in NZSL conversation and narrative at an 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.

Optionl learning materials:
You could purchase an e-book on NZSL grammar from Bridget Williams Books
The cost of the e-book is $20 and is not included in the course fee.

Target audience:
New Zealand Sign Language 5 is suitable for those who have completed NZSL 4 or its equivalent (approximately 80 hours tuition in NZSL), and who wish to continue learning for personal or business reasons.

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

  1. Describe activities, food and environment-related topics in the home
  2. Discuss responsibilities and schedules for domestic chores and errands
  3. Make and respond to requests and complaints
  4. Recount personal experiences about mishaps and problems using narrative techniques
  5. Compare various jobs and work conditions
  6. Describe personal qualities and skills required for work roles
  7. Explain simple instructions for common work-related tasks
  8. Demonstrate appropriate ways to interact with Deaf people in workplaces
  9. Use NZSL grammar – temporal aspect, adverbial inflections, conditionals, role shifting, classifiers, reflexive pronouns, modals and time concepts.
  10. Develop further awareness for using NZSL with Deaf people

Course outline:
Each session is interactive, and you are expected to engage with the rest of the class to help facilitate your learning.

To reinforce your learning, homework is encouraged. There is no formal assessment.

One session will be held at the Language Learning Centre video lab at the Kelburn campus. All other sessions will be held at the downtown Pipitea campus.

This class is in NZSL only – so leave your voice at the door and come and learn sign language in a fun and interactive way.

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:
Bridget Williams Books
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.