Dr. (Mrs.) C. S. Olorode

This paper takes the position that although several reading problems have been identified in ESL students in Nigeria, these could in part be traced to a root cause which is the poor knowledge of the English vocabulary. This position is based on’ the result of a survey among Obafemi Awolowo University students taking “The Use of English course” over a period of about ten years. Two texts “Constant Text A” (C TA) and “Constant Text 8″ (CTB) were used to demonstrate this point. The level of difficulties in the two passages are identified on the bases of difficult words identified in each passage by the affected students. Such a level of difficulty affected the performance in the results and is shown in scores either below (5) or above (5). The scores above (5) for CTB are generally higher than those of CTA.The paper concludes that the vocabulary is an important factor in reading comprehension and efficiency. it is therefore recommended that more vocabulary comprehension learning and teaching strategies should be put in place in order to improve the lexical knowledge of our ESL students.

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