THE HISTORY OF 333 WORDS – the fastest way to learn English on the Planet.

Lauren Cleaver (a bit of a polymath), began teaching English on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica.  She quickly developed the 333 Word System. Logically, she found it fascinating, and the enthusiasm and success rate was exciting and unparalleled.  As she thought more about it, she realized that the system was unique, a game changer.. Comparing her system with various ESL methods, she found the simplicity and logic of her system irresistibly attractive.

As she considered her methodology, she discovered others throughout the ages who had also set out to design a simple method of learning English. Hence, she learned of Charles Kay Ogden, a Brit who in the 1930s created Basic English (also known as Simple English) which is termed a controlled language (subsets of natural languages to help simplify the language) as an international auxiliary language, and as an aid for teaching English as a Second Language. Basic English, an 850 word system, was used extensively following WW2 with the ultimate goal of world peace. It has influenced the Voice of America’s Special English for news broadcasting, as well as Simplified English which is an English-based controlled language designed to write technical manuals. The Basic English method used very few verbs, believing that conjugation was far too difficult to handle.  It has been criticized from a variety of perspectives, but appears to remain viable.  Ms. Cleaver was fascinated, and while finding Basic English to be dated – 333 Words became a beacon for future English learners.

Ms. Cleaver realized that with the 333 Word System she had solved the verb problem associated with Basic English.  There was no longer a difficulty in using verbs because of 333 Words two magic words concept. She also believed that Mr. Ogden’s vocabulary was both out-dated and too cumbersome.  Ms. Cleaver later discovered that one of the world’s smartest human beings,  Ms. Marilyn vos Savant (IQ 190), believes that with a vocabulary of 500 words most humans can communicate their wishes and needs. Ms. Savant posits that basic conversation requires about 1000 words plus some knowledge of verb tenses. With the 333 Word System, the would-be English speaker is well on their way to communicating their wishes and needs. Once that is accomplished, it is easy to see how English can be enhanced with more vocabulary, and allow speakers to move beyond basic sentences.

333 Words is also easily adaptable for people speaking to one another about a particular subject. For example, 333 Words is easily adapted to 333 Words for Hotels, 333 Words for Nurses, 333 Words for Business, etc.