Reading can be viewed as a dialogue or communication between the author and the reader via the medium of print. The extent to which printed material has the potential for effective communication between author and reader may be referred to as its readability. The need to match texts with readers is a concern of educators at all levels. In Nigeria, where students are faced with an additional burden of having to do most of their reading in a second language, there is an even greater danger that the level of difficulty of reading material will prevent many students from benefiting from books used in the schools. This has been a cause for concern by educators in Nigeria for some time now. For example, Jegede (1985) reviewed studies of the readability levels’ of primary and secondary level science textbooks. He concluded, “The trend of results emerging from these studies of readability of science curriculum materials developed in
Nigeria seems to suggest that our science materials cannot be satisfactorily read by the majority of the students they are meant for” (p.365). More recently Onochie (1989) observed that unless there is careful matching of texts to readers, students will “continue to read materials of their so—called grades at frustration level while some individuals will continue to remain non-readers” (p.6).