Readability of English language textbooks for diploma students of the University of Cape Coast

2019 IJRSLL – Volume 8 Issue 1


Gyasi, William Kodom*
University of Cape Coast, Ghana (

Slippe, Dorcas Pearl
University of Cape Coast Junior High School, Ghana (


Textbooks are important for teaching and learning at every level of education. Being one source of learning materials from which students can read on their own, with the goal of further understanding what has been discussed in class, it is important that these textbooks are written in a way that would be understandable to students. Yet, a number of researches have concluded that textbooks are usually difficult to read by the intended audience. Therefore, this paper examined the readability of English Language textbooks for diploma students of the Centre for Distance Learning, University of Cape Coast. Three textbooks (for year one – three diploma students) were used for the study. Passages were selected from each textbook for readability analyses. Flesch reading ease (FRE) and Flesch – Kincaid grade level (FKGL) indexes were used to compute readability scores of the textbooks. Measures of central tendencies, one-sample T-test, with bootstrapping, were used to analyse the data. The results revealed that the three textbooks were generally between ‘fairly difficult’ and ‘difficult’ to read ranges (M = 40.69 and 52.73). The readability of the textbooks was found to be statistically different from recommended readability scores for public documents. Further, the results indicated that the average word per sentence was to be between 22 and 25 for all three textbooks. This may have contributed to the low readability of the textbooks. The researcher recommends the revision of the textbooks, so that they will serve the intended purpose and contribute to effective teaching and learning of English Language.

Keywords: readability; Flesch Reading Ease (FRE); Flesch – Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL); textbooks; diploma students; University of Cape Coast



*Corresponding Author