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Activity 9.1

Activity 9.1

Learning vocabulary and aspects of Deaf culture

The students will learn the vocabulary for items of food and how to converse in NZSL when eating and drinking.

Make flashcards by enlarging the illustrations on worksheet 9.1. Play clip 9.1 which introduces the vocabulary for some food items. Show the flashcards to test the students’ ability to recall the signs in NZSL. Can they sign the word when they see the picture? Play clip 9.1 several more times with the students watching the presenters and practising their signing.

Hand out copies of worksheet 9.2 for the students to complete. If you have access to the Internet, challenge the students to use the online NZSL dictionary to complete their matches.

Ask them to check their matches against those of another student or several other students. Did they get the same results? This checking should encourage some discussion, especially if some students have matched items differently from others. Play clip 9.1 and pause the video often so that the students have time to check their matches. Use checksheet 9.2 for them to correct their matches.

There are other cultural aspects around food that will interest your students. For hearing people, it’s considered rude to talk when your mouth is full. Deaf people can still sign when they have food in their mouths! They are also skilled at not needing to look at their food for very long while they eat. Conversing in NZSL at the dining table can be hazardous, though, as you can knock over glasses and spill drinks. You therefore learn to place cups and glasses in the middle of the table, rather than near the edge.

At barbecues or other places where you stand to eat, Deaf people have the skills to hold their food or drink and still converse in NZSL. You modify your signing style to use only one hand, even when fingerspelling. Sometimes, you use the hand that is holding the food or drink for signing. At other times, you may hand your drink or food over to the viewer to hold for you while you use both hands to sign something quickly or to express more complex ideas. People who are new to signing may feel more comfortable placing their food or drink on a table in order to sign with their hands free.

Place some food and drink in cups and on plates (or paper serviettes) on some desks. Seat the students in groups around them. Have the students interact with each other about their food preferences as they eat and drink. They will not be skilful in conversing while eating and drinking, but this experience will alert them to some culture norms that Deaf people demonstrate in their daily lives.

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Clip 9.1

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Name Class Section
Document Worksheet 9.1 Worksheet 1
Document Worksheet 9.2 Worksheet 1
Document Checksheet 9.2 Worksheet 1

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