Te Kete Ipurangi Navigation:

Te Kete Ipurangi

Te Kete Ipurangi user options:

Units navigation

Unit 7 – IX-it WHERE Where is it?

Scene I – Watching the clock


What's the time?


You go. The girls are on board.

Wait, not yet.

The girls are on the boat!

Not all of them.

What do you mean?

Zoe's just coming. We'll see you on board.



What? You had me worried. It's 9:25! You're both late.

Sorry we're late. We got lost.

Lost! How?

We missed the bus, we had to walk. 

And we turned right when we should have turned left.

Then we had to go back.

I couldn't believe it! How could we get lost!

I was so stressed out! I didn't want to miss the ferry!

Yeah. I was really worried!

It's okay. You texted me.

Yeah. Thanks for waiting.

That's okay. Come on let's get going!

Yeah. We don't want to miss the ferry.

Yeah, we can't walk to Waiheke Island! Water!

Look at the time!

Some aspects of Deaf culture

The students will learn more about NZSL and about the specialist schools for the Deaf.

The information in the introduction and the NZSL guidelines (NZSLiNZC) will help you to lead a discussion with your students about the origins and use of NZSL in New Zealand.

Deaf education centres in Aotearoa

Tell the students that there are two deaf education centres in New Zealand: one in Auckland (Kelston Deaf Education Centre) and one in Christchurch (van Asch Deaf Education Centre).

There used to be a third deaf school, St Dominic’s, in Feilding.

The at-on-time presence of three deaf education centres explains why NZSL has three regional variations. 

Students at these centres learn to read and write English because they follow the same curriculum as your students do, and they use NZSL for their everyday communication.

Most Deaf students are enrolled in mainstream schools and are supported by teacher aides, itinerant teachers for the Deaf, and, occasionally, NZSL interpreters. Some mainstream schools have Deaf units.

Viewing a clip
Play Scene I – Watching the clock so that your students can see what happens next in the story. How much can they understand? As usual, play the scene several times and use your copy of the Scene I transcript to help you guide the discussion.

Ask your students to ask five people what they know about NZSL and the Deaf community in New Zealand.

They are to ask questions. Some suggestions follow.

  • Who is in the Deaf community?
  • What kind of language do they use?
  • Have you ever heard of NZSL?
  • What do you know about Deaf people?

The five people chosen can include parents, friends, classmates, and students in their school who are not learning NZSL. Tell your students that they will report this information back to the class so that the class can assess the level of knowledge in the community about NZSL.

This research provides an opportunity to raise the profile of NZSL in your school and community.

Where feasible, invite members of the Deaf community to your school. This will help your students to learn more about NZSL and Deaf culture, and it will give them an opportunity to interact with first-language speakers of NZSL.

If there are Deaf students in your school, you may be able to invite them to come along and share some of their experiences with your class, possibly with the assistance of a NZSL interpreter.

Learning classroom vocabulary

The students will learn how to sign the names of familiar classroom objects.

Play Clip 7.1a: Things in the classroom. Tell the students to watch the presenters signing each vocabulary item.

Replay the clip and have them sign along with the presenters. Point out that DVD signifies both the disk player and the disk and that you express "DVD" with fingerspelling. If you are talking about putting a DVD into the DVD player, you fingerspell DVD and then add a movement that indicates putting one into a player. Play clip 7.1a again to illustrate this point.

Hand out Worksheet 7.1: Classroom vocabulary as a reference sheet for the students.

Make a set of large flashcards from Worksheet 7.2. Show these to the class one by one and have the students respond by signing correctly.

Group task
Make sets of small cards using worksheet 7.2 as a template, enough for one set per group. The students place the cards face up on the desk. They take turns to point to a vocabulary item and ask another student in the group to respond by signing the name of the item.

Give the groups time to practise this task. Then begin the task again. This time, if a student cannot sign the item by the count of five, the others sign the name of the item, and when the student repeats it correctly, the others earn a point.

In groups and using the same set of cards, the students place each card face down on a desk. They take turns to turn over a card and sign to another student "WHAT SIGN IX-loc (point to card)?". The designated student signs the name of the item, for example, "IX-loc DVD".

Finally, speed up the task so that your students can build their fluency, linking the signs to the items naturally and automatically without having to stop and think about it for too long.

Recalling previous learning
For recall of vocabulary and expressions, they have learnt in previous units and to find out what’s happening in the story, have the students view Scene J – On board. Find out what meaning they make of the scene. As usual, play the scene several times and use the Scene J transcript to help you lead the discussion.

Are you finding that your students read NZSL more easily now? Or do they need many more opportunities to view the scenes? If so, find ways to incorporate more viewing time into your NZSL lessons.

Where is it?

The students will ask about and respond to information about where particular items are located.

Play Clip 7.1a to review the signs for classroom objects.

Discuss the idea that an item has a location. If you are referring to an item that is physically present in the room (for example, TEACHER, TABLE, or BOOK) or is known to be in certain direction (FIELD, LIBRARY), you point towards where the item is. This is known as "real-world orientation". Facial expressions can also show how close or far away an item is. For example, clenching your teeth while signing CORNER IX-loc means that the corner is very close. Signing the same sentence with your mouth in an "mm" position means that the corner is further away.

Signed sentences use a pattern of placing concepts in order from the general (for example, a table) to the more specific (a stack of books on the table), for example:

How many books are on the table?


First, hand out Worksheet 7.3: Where is it?. Then, play Cip 7.1b: Prepositions so that students can learn how to sign where the things are located.

Ask them to note that there are two different ways to sign BEHIND, depending on whether the item they refer to is behind a person or behind an object.

Hand out copies of the sentence patterns from the Unit 7 overview and play Clip 7.2: Questions about things in the classroom to help the students to become familiar with the sentence patterns that they will need to use in the next task.

Play 10 or 20 questions
Where is it? One student is selected to go out of the room while the others hide an object somewhere or decide what the "hidden object" is going to be, for example, TABLE.

Next, they invite the student back into the room. This student asks a series of questions in an attempt to locate or pinpoint the designated object. Stick to the limit set (either 10 or 20 questions).

After that, have a round robin involving the whole class. One student begins by signing an item. The next student repeats the item and includes a new one, and so on

For example:

I found a pen under the desk.


I found a pen and bag under the desk.


Any student who repeats an item is out. Howveer, a student can add a number to an item to make it different.

For example:

I found two papers, a bag, and a pen under the desk.


Using and responding to classroom instructions

The students will use and respond to classroom instructions.

You will already have been using and having the students respond to some classroom instructions. They will gain a better understanding of these instructions and be able to respond to them appropriately if you use them regularly.

Increasing the amount of NZSL you use in the classroom will enable hearing students to gain s beginning experience of what things are like for Deaf people. It will also enable them to engage in genuine social interaction with their peers as they as they work together on tasks that help them learn and use NZSL in different contexts.

Often-used classroom instructions
If needed, print out copies of the classroom instructions and hand these out to the students for their reference.

Play Clip 0.2: Often-used classroom instructions for the students to review how they are signed. Have the students sign along with the presenter until they are very familiar with the meanings of all the expressions and can sign them confidently.

When students work in groups
Whenever the students work in groups, remind them to use NZSL expressions to encourage and support each other and to indicate where a student’s signing is not as accurate as it could be.

Have them practise the following.

No, that's not right.

RIGHT "wave no"neg

That's right!


Go back to the tasks from activity 7.2. Choose one for the students to complete.

Instruct them to incorporate as many of the classroom expressions as they can into the task. Monitor this as you walk around the classroom.

Final task
Discuss their experience of using more language as they worked together on the task. Ask them if using more language helped them to interact socially with the other students.

Remind them of the achievement objectives and the assessment criteria. Help them to explore their thinking so that they reflect critically on their own progress in using NZSL to interact socially with others. Challenge them to keep using as much NZSL as possible when they work together on tasks.

Learning a new language extends students’ linguistic and cultural understanding and their ability to interact appropriately with other speakers.

The New Zealand Curriculum (2007) page 24

Share with a friend

^ Back to top