Zip Zap Boing (I think?)

24 May

I blame that Simon Thomas over at efl-resource.  It’s all his fault.  And I’m still not sure whether it’s “zip zap zop” or “zig zag zog” or something else entirely!

I’ve inherited a class, which Simon once taught back in the misty dawn of time, of 12-year-old pre-intermediate students.  When I walked in the classroom the other day, they were all so keen and motivated to begin the lesson that they roundly rejected my fun warmer and started going on about this bizarre pointing game.  With some careful misunderstandings on my part, it took them ten minutes to explain the rules to me, all of which they did in extremely fluent English (which only goes to show if the motivation is there, the language will follow).

As far as I can work out, everyone stands in a circle.  Someone starts things off and the game runs as follows:  if you point (in a sort of two handed gun gesture) to the person on your immediate left or right you say ZIP,  to anyone else in the circle you say ZAP.  To deflect someone’s pointing at you back at them, you hold both hands up (as if in surrender) and say “BOING”.

It’s meant to be a fast paced, rapid fire game and if you get it wrong you’re out (though I’m not sure how you then declare a winner?).

To give this a larger linguistic focus or to work with higher levels, you could do this with parts of speech:  Nouns to the left, verbs to the right and adjectives down the middle!  A colleague, Alexis, also does this with vocabulary categories:  learners have to precede their ZIP/ZAP/BOING with a vocabulary item linked to the target category.

A nice way to start the lesson – or a fun way to finish it!


4 Responses to “Zip Zap Boing (I think?)”

  1. Simon Thomas Wednesday 25 May 2011 at 22:33 #

    Hi David

    It is indeed “zip zap boing” although I sometimes used to do it with phonemes instead /i:/ /I/ and “ooo” [my keyboard just ran out of phonetic capability] for example).

    Glad they enjoyed the game – please say “hello” to them all from me!

    All best wishes to you and family – I’ll drop you a line via Facebook this very evening, I reckon.


  2. Simon Thomas Wednesday 25 May 2011 at 22:35 #


    You could tell them I thought they were a very good class, as well – providing they behave themselves, of course 🙂

    • David Petrie Wednesday 25 May 2011 at 23:16 #

      Hey Simon,
      they are a lovely group and I’ll certainly tell them you said hi!
      speak soon,

  3. Simon Thomas Thursday 26 May 2011 at 08:25 #

    Thanks, David!

    By the way, when I said “tell them I thought they were a very good class,” obviously I meant “please tell them I thought they were very hard-working last year”… 🙂

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