Story: New Zealand Sign Language

Class at Sumner School for the Deaf

Children in class using microphones and headphones.

Speech training was central to the curriculum at Schools for the Deaf in the 1950s. All hands are firmly clasped on the desk – no signing was allowed in a teaching philosophy known as ‘oralism’. Many deaf people recall this method of teaching as tedious and repressive, and overall limiting their access to meaningful education.

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Ko Taku Reo Deaf Education New Zealand

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How to cite this page:

Rachel McKee, 'New Zealand Sign Language - Ghost page', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 20 May 2022)

Story by Rachel McKee, published 27 Aug 2020, updated 1 Sep 2020