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When I was a kid I wanted to be black belt in karate.
So I signed up for lessons.
Got my yellow belt.
And then quit.
Like a lot of 11 year-olds, when I discovered it was hard work I chose to ride my bike with my friends instead.
Anyway, my point here is that everyone in karate or kung fu or tae kwon do knows you first get your white belt. And much later you get your black belt.
You learn to punch before you learn to kick
And you learn to stand before you learn to jump.
There’s an order.
There are steps
Logical. Makes sense. Sequential.
And… it’s the same with a foreign language.
But most students are skipping steps.
They’re jumping to the last steps or they’re starting in the middle.
And they have problems with speaking and understanding and they don’t know why.
THIS IS STEP NUMBER ONE
If you already have basic grammar and basic vocab, this is the step I give my private students first
It gives them the fastests results in the shortest amount of time.
It’s easy. They do it in their free time. And it only takes a few minutes a day.
And it makes everything else you do in English much, much easier.
So what is it?
But not just any words.
A New Discovery
Do you know how many words are in the English language?
English has the largest vocabulary of any language.
171,476 words are in the Oxford English dictionary.
And that’s a depressing number for an English student.
But here’s the good news: you don’t need to know them all.
In fact, you don’t need to know half.
You don’t even need to know 10%.
If you want to understand native speaker conversation you only need to know 0.8%.
That’s just 2,144 words.
How Is That Possible?
Native speakers like to repeat themselves.
Even native speakers who went to college and have big vocabularies and interesting things to talk about.
We say the same few words again…
In fact, we love these words so much, 90% of our conversation is just these words.
These 2,144 words are 90% of the words I use, the words the Queen uses, and the words your customer from Manchester uses.
And if you understand 90% that’s good enough.
It’s not perfect but it’s enough to understand and to communicate. (I have British friends and sometimes I think I understand less than 90% of what they say!)
These are what I call “super words.”
So would you like to learn a short list of English vocabulary words and understand 90% of English?
…90% of TV
……. 90% of film
……… And 90% of native speaker conversation?
There’s just one problem…
The Super Word Story
People have been counting words for a long time.
And when the computer was invented, suddenly word lists became big.
In fact, some were huge!
But an English student doesn’t need all those words.
He or she just needs the most important.
What we call the “high frequency words.”
That’s why an English teacher named Michael West decided to make a simple list just for English students.
It’s called the General Service List and it contains only the 2,000 most useful words in English.
But there’s just one other problem…
West published his vocabulary list in 1953 (he started making it in the ‘30s).
And as you know, a lot of things – and conversations – have changed since then.
For example, in his list you can find a lot of words about farming and religion.
Which, of course, could be very useful if you’re looking for a job on an Amish farm.
But for the average English student living in the 21st century, the list wasn’t ideal.
And Then… The Discovery
Finally, in 2014 a new group of English teachers made a new vocabulary list.
And this time they made some improvements:
- More Accurate: 200+ million words analyzed with computers
- Modern Words: Sources are recent conversation transcripts and modern TV shows, films, and magazines.
- For Conversation: Other word lists are 90% written English. This list focuses mainly on spoken English.
And then… they made it even better!
How can you improve a list of words?
Somehow they found a way to make it shorter.
In June 2016 they released a new version that has 24% fewer words; and with this list you can still understand the same 90% of TV, film and conversation.
Here’s How To Get Your Super Words Checklist
Ready to find out how many super words you know?
2) print it out.
3) check/tick any word which
- You’ve never seen before
- You don’t know how to explain or use in a sentence
Ready to start?