SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Puerto Rico will expand a controversial English-immersion program to 111 more public elementary schools in January, the government has announced.

Under the program, teachers will teach lessons in Spanish, English and mathematics in Spanish one day, then repeat the lesson the next day in English.

The program will eventually include science and other subjects. The courses, part of Gov. Pedro Rossello’s “Creating a Bilingual Citizen” program, run from kindergarten to third grade.

The program was tested earlier this year in seven schools in northern Arecibo. It was praised by administrators but roundly criticized by teachers’ unions, who said the method wasted class time in a school year already disrupted by Hurricane Georges.

Opponents accused Rossello of imposing the courses on schools as part of his drive to make Puerto Rico a U.S. state.

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