Monday, April 30, 2012

NZSL Week 2012: 5 ways to celebrate New Zealand Sign Language Week 2012

Happy New Zealand Sign Language Week! From Monday 30 May - Sunday 6 May, the country is celebrating New Zealand Sign Language week. And I only just realised (or only just admitted out loud to myself, anyway) that my sign language skills are rusty. Very rusty. How rusty? My brother signs to me and I screw up my face while trying to translate, forget what he just signed, and opt for speaking clearly enough that he can lipread OR (and this makes him groan/laugh in exasperation) I use the one-hand American alphabet to respond to him. There is logic to this madness. I use this version of sign instead because I am quicker at it than I am at NZSL because, you see, it's been so long since I've used it (think yeeaaarrrs) that I've forgotten any of the basic phrases, words, and the entire alphabet *hangs head in shame* Am I a terrible, terrible person? Yes! So what am I going to do about it? Change it, of course! What else? And so! Please find below 5 ways to celebrate NZSL Week 2012. Why not give one a go?

How are you celebrating New Zealand Sign Language Week this year?

p.s. NZSL Week always reminds me that once upon a time I wanted to be a sign language interpreter. Every now and then I remember, and instead of wanting to run away and join the circus I want to sign up and just do it. Maybe one day I will.

Check out the Deaf Aotearoa website!
Stalk the site and take advantage of all the resources they have - video clips of helpful words and phrases, printable sign alphabet cards, events taking place this week throughout the country and so much more.

Register for a free NZSL taster class
Register for a free 45 minute NZSL taster class at your workplace, organisation or school. They may be fully booked SO even if you can't get one today, you've made a start!

Learn some interesting facts about NZSL!
Such as whether or not there is one universal sign language for all, an explanation of why the word Deaf has a capital D (because you know you were wondering why), how many people use NZSL in NZ and ohsomuch more.

Learn a few simple words or phrases and try them out at work, at school and even at home
We have copies of NZ sign language dictionaries (which I've used myself a few times over the years) which you can take home with you. If you have children you could try using the storytime in sign videos/DVDs. My nephews have always adored them and the older two are 13 and 14 now and still remember them, and easily recognised words that my brother had taught them.

Spend an entire day using as much sign as you can
A simple activity for those whose signing is much, much better than mine.

(Image from Deaf Aotearoa website).

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