New Zealand Sign Language 5


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

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) 5 aims to extend receptive and expressive skills in NZSL conversation and narrative at a pre-intermediate level.

Target audience:
NZSL 5 is suitable for those who have completed NZSL 4 or its equivalent (around 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. Make and respond to complaints, suggestions, opinions and advice
  2. Narrate life events using time and sequencing structures
  3. Describe characters and a sequence of actions in a short narrative
  4. Use classifiers to describe the features and arrangement of objects
  5. Seek and give elaboration of information in signed conversations
  6. Use NZSL grammar – classifiers, temporal aspect, adverbial inflections, conditionals, role shifting, spatial referencing and time concepts

Course Format: 
This course comprises 20 hours of interactive classroom group learning.  Two sessions will be held at the Language Learning Centre video lab at the Kelburn campus. All other sessions will be held at the 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. To reinforce your learning, homework is encouraged. There is no formal assessment.

There is a short break half-way through each session.  Tea/coffee is provided and you are welcome to bring something to eat if you wish.

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

Optional material: 
A new e-book on NZSL grammar has been published. You can purchase this online for $20 from Bridget Williams Books at

Darryl Alexander is a qualified New Zealand Sign Language teacher and a Teacher of the Deaf.

Sara Pivac Alexander is a Lecturer for the Deaf Studies Research Unit at Victoria University and has taught New Zealand Sign Language at the university since 2006.

Relevant links:
Bridget Williams Books
The Online Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language
Language Learning Centre

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.