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Thumbs Up! An Introduction to New Zealand Sign Language is based on learning languages at levels 1 and 2 of the New Zealand Curriculum.

Learning languages has three strands. The Communication strand lists the achievement objectives to be assessed. Two supporting strands are Language Knowledge and Cultural Knowledge. The supporting strands describe what your students need to learn and integrate in order to be able to communicate effectively.

The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) sets the curriculum direction for New Zealand schools. The curriculum documents published for individual languages are now referred to as "language guidelines" as they offer guidance to teachers on matters relating to the specific language they are teaching. For this reason, the reference used in this resource to the publication with the title New Zealand Sign Language in the New Zealand Curriculum (2006) is "the NZSL guidelines (NZSLiNZC)".

The NZSL guidelines (NZSLiNZC) provide information about NZSL, approaches for teaching NZSL, and detailed proficiency descriptors and achievement objectives for levels 1 and 2.

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