NZ SIGN LANGUAGE COURSE – embracing the official language

Most of us know that the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is one of the official languages; the third one to be precise and yet is hardly ever used by a hearing person. This could simply be due to the lack of knowledge or understanding of the culture and norms of the deaf community.

Fortunately, the University’s Disability Resource Services offers a short course in sign language in Term 4 which has returned on popular demand. Open to all students and staff, the course covers basic phrases in NZSL, finger-spelling alphabets, some University specific vocabulary, basic grammar and information about deaf culture and norms.

The course is taught by Josje Lelijveld, who is deaf herself. Don’t be startled by that, she has over 20 years of experience in teaching deaf awareness and sign language classes. So, you’re getting the real deal, legit and straightforward. For a humble fee of NZ$60, the course runs every Tuesday from  9 September to 14 October from 1-1.50 pm in Seminar Room 210 of Puaka-James Hight.

Here’s the link to the course that contains more information, the course registration form and fee payment instructions:

A few things you should know and consider before registering:

  1. The course will only run IF there are sufficient enrolments
  2. Once the course is confirmed, the course fee is non-refundable.
  3. There is only one session very week in the same time frame. So make sure you will be available to commit to the time, as the classes are interlinked. However, you won’t be at a total loss if you miss one.

If you’re keen but still need more information then please contact the Disability Resource Services team at

Have a voice! Tell us what you're thinking...