In late 2002 the countries that are part of the Latin American Laboratory for Assessment of the Quality of Education (LLECE) decided to develop and conduct the Second Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study (SERCE) , to profit from the achievements and findings of the first such study (in 1998), while also taking significant steps to expand the study to more countries and more areas of assessment. In this framework, it was decided to assess the writing skills of students in sixteen countries in Latin America and the Caribbean and in the Mexican state of Nuevo León, in an effort of unprecedented scope not only in the region and but in the world.
This report presents the results attained by students in the SERCE writing tests. It is an analytical report that offers data on relevant aspects of the process and the product of writing, changes made in the transformation of a draft into a final text, coherence of information in the final version, suitability for the topic and adjustment to the communicational situation, use of vocabulary and correction of spelling, among other factors.
This type of information will allow participating countries to undertake exhaustive analyses that serve to support decisions regarding curriculum and teaching methods with the aim of improving the teaching of writing, a basic tool that education should provide in the best way possible to every human being.
Research advances in the field of learning written composition prove that key aspects of creativity and depth in writing can be taught, if attention is paid to the relevant strategies and processes. The approaches adopted in order to teach simple abilities seem to be necessary, but in no way sufficient, for the teaching of written composition.