27 September 2023

Support social interaction

Suggestion for implementing the strategy ‘Key areas to support’

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Pre-teach the rules of games

Pre-teach the rules of games

Consider pre-teaching the rules and instructions for games to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Support communication with visuals and symbols.

5374 [IMG-students-with-hands-up-in-class.jpg]

Source: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Support belonging and confidence

Support belonging and confidence

Ask students who are deaf or hard of hearing what is working well and where support is needed.

Develop strategies together. 

  • Develop a range of communication skills and strategies that can be used in different environments, situations, and reflect on their impact.
  • Develop vocabulary that describes feelings and emotions.
  • Provide opportunities for students to express what they know and share their experiences in ways that work for them.
  • Build on personal interests, strengths and culture.

Demonstrate you value diversity

Demonstrate you value diversity

Suggestions for demonstrating that student diversity is valued.

  • Celebrate New Zealand Sign Language week.
  • Learn some New Zealand Sign Language together.
  • Introduce basic signs into everyday communication throughout the school.
  • Organise classroom visits and presentations from community members who are deaf or hard of hearing so that they can be role models and stimulate classroom discussion about hearing differences, how to communicate clearly, and why it is important to value difference.
  • Use your knowledge of the student’s interests, strengths and culture to create opportunities for the student to take a leadership role.

Support peer communica­tion

Support peer communica­tion

Model, discuss, and support effective communication between students.

These three videos from the illustrate authentic student-based role-plays modelling appropriate ways to communicate in the classroom and the playground.

Source: Victorian Deaf Education Institute (opens in a new tab/window)

Build self-esteem

Build self-esteem

Deaf students may experience feelings of isolation.

Build self-esteem and belonging within the culture of the classroom.

Useful resources

Useful resources


Learn NZSL

Learn NZSL is a free learning portal. Watch, learn and practise how to use NZSL in common situations.

Publisher: NZSL Board

Visit website

Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Key areas to support”:

Return to the guide “Deaf or hard of hearing students and learning”