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Unit 13 – MUSIC TURN-UP Turn the music up!

Responding to invitations and to music in Deaf culture

The students will learn the vocabulary for making and replying to invitations. They will also learn about music in Deaf culture.

As the name of this unit indicates, music is a key theme. Ask the students how they think Deaf people respond to music.

Instead of listening to music, Deaf people feel it. This is why bass music is popular, because they can feel the vibrations and can therefore enjoy the rhythm and beat. Mention sign singing and, if possible, search for some examples of this on the Internet.

Challenge the students to find out more about music in Deaf culture and bring this information to the next lesson.

Play Clip 13.1a repeatedly so that the students can learn to sign the new vocabulary well. Explain that TURN-UP and TURN-DOWN are signs that show the movement that you actually need to make. This means that you just turn up or turn down a music device with one hand.

Project Worksheet 13.1 (Inviting others) block out the English words that identify the meaning of each sign. Point to the signs at random and have the students respond with the English.

Repeat this process with Worksheet 13.2 (Making and responding to requests) after you have played Clip 13.1b and your students have practised their signing.

Play Clip 13.1a and Clip 13.1b again and hand out copies of the two worksheets to the students for their reference and to use for further practice. Discuss with them techniques that they can use to learn new vocabulary well.

This discussion may help them to explore techniques that are new to them. It will help them to become more efficient learners.

Making and responding to requests

The students will make and respond to requests using appropriate levels of language.

Introducing the activity
Introduce this activity by playing Scene U – Making music. Find out how much the students understand. Hand out copies of the Scene U transcript so that the students can check their understanding.

Play scene U again.

Have the students role-play the scene, practising it enough for them to be communicating confidently. Play the scene several more times so that they have a model to follow.

Have the students perform their role-play of the scene to another group and invite their feedback on how confidently they are expressing themselves in NZSL.

For example, did:

  • they use the script as a prompt?
  • they perform their part in the role-play from memory? d
  • the others understand what they signed?

Whole-class dicussion
Talk to the students about how the language for making requests varies, depending on the relationships between the people involved and the level of formality expected.

Ask your students whether they found examples of requests in scene U. For example, TURN-UP is a request in the form of a command.

An example of a request that may be considered more polite is this:


Ask them whether English or other languages they are familiar with have different styles of language for making requests. For example, how would they make a request to their grandmother (or another elder) as opposed to making a request to a teacher or a friend.

Reviewing previous learning
Play Clip 0.2: Often-used classroom instructions to recall the classroom instructions with the students. You and they may already be using these habitually, but remind them to use as many of the classroom instructions as they can when they engage with the next task.

Practising role-play
Have the students practise role-playing scene U, this time working in groups of six. Have those who are presenting the role-play interact with those watching by using as much of the classroom language as they can. For example, they can give the instruction PLEASE WATCH! as they begin, and they can check on the other students’ understanding of what they have just seen.

Are you coming to my party?

The students will make and respond to invitations.

Tell your students they will need to use vocabulary from previous units to complete the next task.

Review: How to sign numbers, days of the weeks, months of the year, and time
Play Clip 1.1b: Numbers 1 to 10, Clip 2.1c: Numbers 11 to 20, and Clip 4.1b: Numbers 21 to 31 to help them review the numbers they have learnt how to sign so far.

Play Clip 3.1c: Days of the week, Clip 4.1c: Months of the year, and Clip 4.1a: Times one o'clock to twelve o'clock to review the days of the week and the months of the year and how to sign the time.

Play Scene N – We're having a party!.

Watch a scene
Have the students watch the scene and talk afterwards about what they understood using contextual clues and their knowledge of NZSL. Either lead the discussion yourself using the Scene N transcript or hand out copies to your students so that they can discuss the scene with the support of the transcript. Play the scene again.

Check whether the students are able to extract more meaning from the dialogue this time. Play the scene several more times. Ask the students to look very carefully at how the characters express themselves in NZSL, culturally as well as through the language they use. Discuss their observations.

Photocopy Worksheet 13.3 (Are you coming to my party?) onto card and cut each copy into the four sections. Laminate these for long-term use if you can. Working in a group of four, each student has one section. Carry out this next task in two phases.

Group work: Inviting others to a party
For the first phase, the students take turns to invite the others to their party using the information on their section.

The other students test their understanding of the message by writing down the key information:

  • the person’s age
  • date, day, and time of the party.

Then they check their understanding against the information on the section.

The next phase builds on this understanding and extends the process so that the students interact with each other and exchange genuine information. When a student extends the invitation, the others take turns to accept or decline, giving appropriate reasons and responses.

Assessing progress

The students will perform role-plays so that they can be assessed on how they use NZSL creatively for a particular purpose.

Preparing for the assessment
Use the Worksheet 10.1 Assessment criteria for Unit 10 and discuss how these will be applied with your students. Decide whether you will record the role-plays and how to carry out the assessment process.

Set up groups
Divide the students into groups of equal number.

Using the invitations on Worksheet 13.3 as a model, each student prepares an invitation to a party or an outing that they can send as a text message or an email to a friend.

The student who receives the message then role-plays telling a parent about the invitation and asking for permission to go, saying who the invitation is from, what the plan is, what food is required, the time of return, and so on. Challenge the students to develop the dialogue using the language they have learned in previous units.

Practise and present
Give the students time to work on their role-plays. When they are ready, they present these to the group or to the whole class. Make sure that the other students view the performances as an appreciative audience.

Discuss how some tasks have just a single focus, for example, matching signs and illustrations so that they can increase their vocabulary knowledge in NZSL. Then discuss how using a new language creatively in communicative situations for real exchanges of meaning is a much more complex and demanding task.

The more opportunities your students have to communicate in NZSL in a range of contexts and situations, the more they will build their confidence, knowledge, and communicative competence. This is the real point of learning another language.

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