Photo: Supplied.

Sign Language in Schools travels to Lake Rotoiti


The Sign Language in Schools Programme has extended out to Lake Rotoiti ahead of New Zealand Sign Language Week which kicks off on Monday.

Lake Rotoiti Primary School now get weekly visits from a sign language tutor after an enquiry was made on behalf of a student with significant hearing loss.

Thanks to funding from the Nelson Lions Club, tutor Cathy Gutschlag visits the school every Wednesday afternoon.

“Lake Rotoiti is particularly enjoyable as during my hour with them I am reaching the whole school. Our time is split into two sessions and ages range from 5 year olds up to 12/13 year olds,” says Cathy.

“The students are very receptive to the language, and the staff have impressed me with their involvement and commitment to practising and using NZSL between our sessions.”

As one of New Zealand’s official languages, Cathy says sign language has an important place in schools.

“NZSL is an essential and natural communication method for our Deaf community and the more hearing people that can sign makes for a more inclusive and respectful wider community.

New Zealand Sign Language Week will run from Monday, May 8, through till Sunday, May 14.