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NZSL Level 2 Teacher Trainings in 3 cities: A Success Story

In a world where inclusivity and diversity are becoming increasingly important, the need for specialised training for New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) teachers is more crucial than ever. With only approximately 70 qualified teachers in New Zealand, there is a serious shortage of educators who are able to teach this important language effectively.

With support of NZSL Fund, Merge NZ partnered with New Zealand Sign Language Teachers Association (NZSLTA) to organise three successful training sessions in 3 different cities: Auckland, Palmerston North, and Christchurch.


The first training tool place in Auckland on the weekend of November 18th and 19th last year. Following the success of the Auckland training, Palmerston North and Christchurch hosted their training sessions on the weekend of 24th and 25th of February 2024. A group of 19 dedicated NZSL qualified teachers, who are Deaf themselves, attended these workshops with enthusiasm, eager to improve their teaching abilities.


NZSL Level 2 Training sessions held in 3 cities in November 2023 and February 2024.


The trainings sessions’ content primarily focused on TeachSign Level 2, with additional attention given to the NZSL Level 1 Placement Assessment tool and a brief overview of Level 3. Since the majority of adult community classes in New Zealand focus on Level 1, it is crucial to prepare a team of NZSL teachers who can teach Level 2 effectively. This will not only enhance the quality of education provided but also encourage NZSL learners to progress to higher levels with confidence.


The qualified NZSL teachers who attended these training sessions were recognised by NZSLTA for their dedication to the language and their commitment to teaching. By providing these teachers with the opportunity to learn from professional NZSL trainers, they were able to enhance their teaching skills and gain valuable insights into effective teaching methods.


At the training sessions, the trainers provided valuable insights and guidance to the NZSL teachers. They brought their expertise and passion to the sessions, where participants engaged in interactive activities, group discussions, and conversations exclusively in NZSL to improve their understanding of effective teaching strategies.

The NZSL teacher training workshops in all three cities were highly successful, thanks to the dedicated NZSL trainers, enthusiastic teachers, and volunteers.


Victoria Lessing, the director of Merge NZ, stated,

By equipping these NZSL teachers with the necessary skills and knowledge, we can all create more inclusive and supportive employment opportunities for Deaf/NZSL teachers and enhance educational opportunities for learners at a higher level throughout New Zealand.

For many members of the Deaf community, everyday interactions can be challenging when others around them do not understand NZSL. By learning NZSL, adults can actively participate in creating a more inclusive environment where everyone can communicate effectively.


Moreover, learning NZSL fosters empathy and understanding. It allows individuals to gain insight into the experiences of the Deaf community and develop a deeper appreciation for diversity. Through NZSL, people can form meaningful connections and build bridges across linguistic and cultural divides.


Furthermore, the benefits of learning NZSL extend beyond personal growth. In workplaces, educational institutions, and public spaces, having a basic understanding of NZSL can facilitate smoother communication and enhance cooperation among Deaf children, students, colleagues, clients, and community members. Here's to more successful training workshops in the future!


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Merge NZ for more information about training. Email directly to director, Victoria Lessing on: info@mergenz.co.nz


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