Introduction
Of all the yardsticks for assessing the suitability of a text for a level of readers, probably the most vital is the level of linguistic difficulty. Other factors, such as the cultural relevance, the thematic difficulty, and moral or ideological factors, pale into the distance when we realise that inability to obtain a firm grasp of the language of discourse bars a reader’s access to the cultural, moral or ideological milieu themselves. It is the linguistic factors, above all others, which determines one’s degree of success in
obtaining a control of these other factors. And this is perhaps why, in selecting a class text for young readers, the readability level plays a prominent role.