The Taranaki Adult Literacy Services (TALS) are offering lessons for one of New Zealand's official languages.

New Zealand sign language courses will be run by qualified sign language tutors throughout the Taranaki region.

Taranaki Adult Literacy Services committee member Julia Collins says this is the second year the lessons have been offered by TALS.

"Since first being offered the response and uptake by the community has been extremely positive. Term 3 is the first time the sign language course is being offered in Patea and registrations are already 'flooding in'. The response has been a clear indication a need in the community is now being met."

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As well as the classes held in Hāwera, there will also be classes offered in New Plymouth, Patea, Inglewood and New Plymouth.

Julia says it is important for sign language lessons to be held as the lessons offered by TALS are the only ones in the community.

"Since 2018, TALS has been the place to go for tuition in all of New Zealand's three official languages. It gives us great satisfaction to be providing this much needed service to the Taranaki community."

Julia says while she personally doesn't know sign language, she understands the importance of knowing the language.

"Understanding sign language allows people to communicate with the deaf and partially deaf people in our community, workplace, schools and families. It makes us more aware of their needs when communicating with them."

■ The beginner NZ sign language lessons will be held Mondays 5pm-6.30pm, August 5 to September 9 from 5pm-6.30pm at Te Kura Kaupapa o Ngati Ruanui, 2 Manawapou Rd, Hāwera. Course registration is $60 for each course with six classes per course. For more information, contact; taranakiadultliteracy@gmail.com