Five-year-old Levi Adkisson had never been exposed to Spanish before this school year. But only a few weeks in, he’s following directions and reading in the language. He’s one of the native English-speaking students in Lilia Abuerne’s Spanish classroom in the new dual language program at Tice Elementary school in Lee County.
The program began this fall more than 50 years after the first school in Florida launched a dual language program. Two classes of kindergartners at Tice Elementary are learning in Spanish half the day and the other half in English. Some of the kids are native Spanish-speakers and some are native English-speakers. By the end of 5th grade, the goal is for all of them to be bilingual and biliterate.