THE HISTORY OF LEARNING ENGLISH, AND THE STORY OF 333 WORDS
The Fastest Way to Learn English on the Planet.
Learning English can be easy. You can learn English fast. It doesn’t have to be so hard!
Lauren Cleaver began teaching English on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica when she moved there in 1999 – after spending years as a death penalty attorney in Colorado. She quickly developed the 333 Word Basic English Language 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, Rosetta Stone, DuoLingo – she found the simplicity and logic of her system irresistibly attractive. It made sense. People actually learned English!
Great attorneys develop a Theory of the Case. Great attorneys focus on a few main points – and that is what 333 WORDS is all about. What is the essence of the English language? What are the most important words? How do they fit together?
As she considered her methodology, she discovered 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. Basic English doesn’t work well anymore for two reasons according to Lauren Cleaver. First, avoiding the use of verbs never made sense, and 333 Words methodology of using two magic words completely solves this problem. Second, Basic English has become out-dated – many of the original 850 words are still listed as necessary – even though they are words that no one uses anymore – like carriage and cart.
So – 333 Words Basic Language System – had some historical depth.
Lauren Cleaver later discovered that one of the world’s smartest human beings based upon IQ, 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. 333 Words provides an ideal platform to launch English learning – and additional vocabulary is easily added. The structure doesn’t change. Learners who understand the 333 Words method can easily add more and more. In fact 333 Words Basic English Language System is expanding for more advanced learners to 444, 555, etc.
333 Words also works extremely well in particular industries – for example, the hotel and tourism industry. 333 Words can be tailored so that a particular group of people within a particular industry learn words relevant to their industry. 333 Words is easily adapted to 333 Words for Hotels, 333 Words for Restaurants, 333 Words for the Medical Industry, 333 Words for Business, etc. See the various 333 Courses here.
333 WORDS was sold to Urban Planet (see below). Eventually Urban Planet merged with Sibling Group – which then decided to no longer teach English but focused on helping international students earn US high school diplomas. Lauren Cleaver has now reacquired 333 WORDS.