Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The English language is a dynamic phenomenon. Like your mobile phone or the grass in your back garden, it is continually changing, shrinking and growing back again, constantly acquiring new characteristics.People often think that a word is only a "proper", bona fide part of the vocabulary when it appears in a dictionary. However, some haven´t made it into the dictionary even though they´re being used.
Walking bus
If, on the way to work in the morning, you regularly come across an orderly group of walking children flanked by adults in fluorescent tabards, then you´ll have seen a walking bus. In an effort to encourage walking as a healthy and environmentally friendly option, a walking bus is a group of kids who walk to and from school supervised by two or more adults, usually with a 'driver' at the front and a 'conductor' bringing up the rear.
"....ethical initiatives ... begin before the first bell, when the walking bus sets off, gathering pupils and trotting along emission-free to the school gate." (Observer Magazine, 18 June 2006)
Selected from Brave New Words , by Kerry Maxwell


  1. I've never heard about the walking bus! I found it so interesting!

  2. I have never heard about this phrase either! It is really interesting! I will add it to my vocab list! =)

  3. @Mateus and Larissa

    The world is going so fast nowadays that there´s no time anymore to wait until a word makes it to the dictionary. Thank God we are able to grab hold of books that list these items for us. This way we can keep our English updated.

  4. Despite not being a Cambridge Candidate, I´m really enjoying this blog!!
    I was reading about “walking bus” and it´s really interesting! The concept of the "walking bus" was launched in 1998 at Wheatfields Junior School in St Albans by Hertfordshire County Council. They are accompanied by adults acting as "driver" and "conductor", and wear fluorescent jackets to ensure they are visible to motorists.

    Bye for now,
    Felipe Hirsh.

  5. I worked in one! I was usually the end-bit, calling out instructions.
    It can be somewhat stressful, as you must keep kids in pairs. And as I worked with a multi-aged group, slower shorter 4 year-olds walked at the front dictating the pace, and pre-teens (10/11 year olds) had to follow suit, which they didn`t care much for.
    When you consider that in the UK it's your zip code which determine which primary schools you're going to attend, you will most certainly study close to home. So, it makes perfect sense walking to school. Yet, traffic jams around schools are unbearable.

  6. @luciana

    Hi honey,

    You could really write a book about your background! What an amazing life!

    P.S. Your little girl is a treasure... I could kiss those tiny hands for months...

  7. My dear Felipe,

    Sorry, sorry , sorry, but "Who are you?"

    I totally LOVE your commments, but I can't place you. How lame is that?

    Your ageing blogger,

    Chris Dupont

  8. Hi Chris...

    You might not know me, but I´m Paula´s boyfriend. I´ve been following this blog for sometime now, but I only signed in last week. I´ve been learning a lot here!

    Felipe Hirsh.

  9. Hi Felipe,

    We are very glad to keep reading your postings; it´s been a pleasure.

  10. @Felipe

    Hi Felipe,
    Glad to meet you, at last. How come you aren't attending a prep-course for a Cambridge exam? That's a definite "no can do", so join right now! No excuses. I refuse to not have you in my class (or Danuza's). Do we have a deal?

    See you soon,


  11. Hi Danuza,

    It´s also a pleasure to follow this blog.

    Hi Chris...

    Unfortunately I can´t accept the deal at the moment, because I have to finish my regular course and some of my personal projects. A couple of months ago, I attended Danuza´s class (I liked very much), but I couldn´t continue.

    See you soon,
    Felipe Hirsh.

  12. Luciana,
    I am not sure if you are the same Luciana who has studied with me.Anyway,I loved your comment and it was great to learn something from your experience. It sounds you have so much to report.I didn't know about the zip code.Very interesting!!
    Miss you,
    Andréa Pouchucq

  13. Hi Andrea,
    It`s your class mate on the CPE and your old pal from CAUCP...
    See you in class next month.

  14. wow, that's super duper!