Getting Into The NZ Swing Of All Language Related Things
Sign language is the US is somewhat different from that in NZ. This is something Rosemary Willingham learned on her return to NZ after years of living in the US.
Language Of A Nation
In order to get reacquainted and reconnect with her roots, Rosemary decided to learn the official languages of NZ. Taranaki Adult Literacy Centre is who she approached to find out all the information she required. In 2017 she enrolled for the last term of the year to learn how to sign the New Zealand way. Rosemary is a hands-on, visual learner herself and enjoys the fact that this kind of communication and learning makes use of the other side of your brain.
The Roots of NZ Signing
New Zealand sign language is influenced by the languages used by the British, Australian and Maori populations. While she had previously worked in the deaf community in California, she feels she has taken in more of what NZ signing has to offer. Retaining the information and knowledge has allowed her to gain confidence in a language that is much more concrete to her. While the classes are over, her new-found confidence has allowed her to improve of her own accord.
She has enrolled herself in a conversational Maori class in hopes of grasping the language. In a language that relies on pronunciation, she is on the right road to understanding what’s being said around her. On her return in 2017, she recognised the use of Maori terminology and words in the media and began to understand how bilingual they were becoming. She purchased a dictionary in order to look up new words.
Rosemary is adamant that in a diverse country like NZ, grasping the language and cultures will create a full experience of the country. She hasn’t stopped just yet, and has her eyes set on becoming a tutor to adult student.