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Unit 2 – New Zealand Sign Language My family

Clip 2.2: Family members


Who is that woman?

That's my mother.

How many sisters do you have?

Do you have any brothers?

Yes, I have two brothers.

No, I don't have any brothers.

Do you have any brothers or sisters?

What's his/her name?

His/her name is (name).

The vocabulary for introducing family members

The students will learn the words for introducing family members. This activity also develops the students’ reading skills in NZSL.

Play Clip 2.1b: See you again later. Ask the students whether they can pick out any signs they learned in Unit 1.

Introducing family members
Play Clip 2.1a: Introducing family members. This time, have the students notice how the signers indicate the pronouns HE and SHE and their associated adjectives HER and HIS, which indicate possession. They use their index finger to point directly to a person within sight.

If the person they are talking about is absent, they point to an area of space around the signer to indicate a person, for example, their brother. From then on, that space is associated with that person.

Play clips 2.1a and 2.1b again. Have the students practise their signing along with the presenters. Repeat this task until the students achieve a good level of fluency.

Family vocabulary
Hand out Worksheet 2.1 and Worksheet 2.2. Tell students to focus on the vocabulary on the worksheets as they rewatch Clips 2.1a and 2.1b. They now work in pairs and practise signing the vocabulary, and giving each other feedback on how well they can “read” and understand what their partner is signing.

You will see that a sign for YES is included in the worksheets. However, a head nod is used for YES.

Practicing family vocabulary 
Get the students to stand in lines, one behind the other, facing the back of the classroom. The leader of each line is shown a word. They tap the shoulder of the next student, who turns around to face the leader. The leader signs the word using a facial expression where appropriate. The receiver repeats this step, and so on down the line. The last student in each line repeats the sign to see whether it matches what the leader expressed.

Final task
Play scene A, which you used in Unit 1. Using your copy of the Scene A transcript, check your students’ levels of understanding. Find out whether they are following the NZSL conversations more easily after repeat viewings. Check that they know how to access the resource online. Remind them that they can play these scenes in their own time to continue to build their reading and signing skills in NZSL.

The numbers 11–20

The students will learn how to count using the numbers from 11 to 20.

Play Clip 2.1C: Numbers 11 to 20. Have the students copy the handshapes for the numbers 11– 20. Alert them to regional differences in some number signs, for example, the numbers 11 and 12. Examples of these are not included in this resource, apart from two variations for NINE. This resource mainly uses the “thumbs down” sign for NINE. As they develop their NZSL fluency and their contact with Deaf communities, they can adapt their signing to follow the local variant.

Adding variety

To add variety and to develop their recognition and signing fluency, have the students sign by counting in twos or sign the number sequence FROM 20 down to one or another number.

Make a set of number flashcards, with the numeral on one side and its matching sign from Worksheet 2.3 attached to the back. Show the number flashcards in random sequence. The students sign the numbers. Get them to repeat this task working in pairs or groups and using sets of smaller cards.

Using duplicate sets of the flashcards, show a numeral and an illustration of a handshape side by side. If they match, the students nod YES. If they do not match, the students sign NO using the appropriate non-manual signal.

Group activity – Whole class
Get the students to stand in a circle. One student starts by signing the number one. Continuing in a clockwise direction, the next student signs the number two, and so on, until it comes to the turn of the student who is number 10. This student sits down and is out of the game. The next student starts over with number one, and the counting continues around the circle, with every tenth person sitting down. The last person standing is the winner.

Now vary the task by changing the pattern. For example, every person who is number three or a multiple of three has to sit down. The students may suggest other ways to make this activity even more challenging.

Group activity – Team competition
Divide the class into two groups. Give each group a rolled-up newspaper or magazine.

On the board, write the numbers between one and 20 in large lettering and in a random order.

Each group has a leader. You or a student signs one of the numbers, choosing one at random. The leader of each group rushes to the board and swats the number.

The first to swat the correct number is the winner. The swat passes round the group, with every member taking a turn.

The group that collects the most swats is the winning team.

Asking for and giving personal information

The students will ask for and give personal information.

Getting started
Play Scene B – Meeting the family. Remind the students they need many opportunities to see people using NZSL in everyday situations.

Communicating with others is much more than just repeating words and numbers or sharing information. It is also about social awareness, for example, showing respect in various ways.

To make the most of the learning opportunity, consider try these.

  • Ask students, “What forms of respect can you identify in scene B?” 
  • Focus on the aspects of the scene that relate to the learning outcomes of Unit 2. 
  • Download the Scene B transcript to guide your viewing and questioning.

After viewing Scene B
The students work on the next task in groups of three or four. They ask each other about their families and respond when others ask them about theirs. As they ask each other questions and receive replies, they note the information carefully so that they can give information about the person to others.

Building vocabulary 
Play Clip 2.1a: Introducing family members and Clip 2.1b: See you again later for them to recall the vocabulary they can use.

Now play Clip 2.2: Family members where they will view how the vocabulary is used in sentences to make meaning. The sentence patterns are included in the Unit 2 overview at the beginning of this unit. Clip 0.4: Positive and negative statements gives more information about making positive and negative statements in NZSL.

You may wish to provide your students with copies of the sentence patterns to support them as they compose information about their families in NZSL and respond to the information that others provide.

Final task
Now ask each group to join another group. Each student, in turn, presents information about one other student to the rest of the group. The group responds by stating what the information is in English to check their comprehension of what is being communicated.

Learning about glossing and assessing progress

The students will learn more about the written form of NZSL and assess their progress across the outcomes to be achieved.

Hand out the "Scene B – Meeting the family" transcript and discuss with your students the way that NZSL is written with glossing.

At the beginner level, your students do not need to know how to gloss. They just need to recognise some basic glossing conventions.

  • Signs are written using capital letters (for example, NUMBER).
  • A hyphen joins two words to indicate that only one sign is used (for example, THANK-YOU).
  • Pointing is shown by the symbol IX ("IX" means "index finger").
  • Non-manual signals are indicated (for example, nod).
  • Questions are shown (for example, TIME WHATwhq).

Comparing sentence patterns
Ask them to look at the NZSL sentence patterns and compare them with the patterns of the sentences in English. Discuss what they observe, for example, that the differences in word order indicate a different way of thinking about and expressing ideas.

Play Scene B– Meeting the family so that students can associate the glossed form of NZSL with how it is presented in the scene.

Assessing progress

Select a task or tasks that suit the needs of your students from those listed below. Note that some require a less creative use of language than others. Some students may find the more creative tasks challenging if they have not consolidated their learning. Others may be ready to extend their knowledge and build their communicative fluency with the more creative tasks.

Assessment criteria
Give students a copy of assessment criteria (Worksheet 10.1). You can discuss the assessment criteria with your students to find out how they will use the criteria to measure how well they and others can use NZSL to communicate.

  • The students work in groups to role-play Scene A – Ben comes to visit using the Scene A transcript as a prompt.
  • Each pair joins with another pair, and the students take turns to give information about each other’s families using the information that their partner provided.
  • The students take turns to introduce someone else’s family to the class using a picture or photograph as reference.
  • The students work in groups to make up role-plays to perform to the rest of the class. They use the vocabulary and sentence patterns from Units 1 and 2.

Final task
To conclude this activity, have a discussion with the students about their learning and ask them to identify aspects of their learning that they need to improve. Have them make a note of these in their workbooks as a reminder to work on them.

Students learn to communicate effectively in the language they are learning when they have opportunities to engage in genuine social interaction.

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