A 10th grader born in Haiti struggles to read in his class at Godby High School in Tallahassee. The student is more comfortable with Haitian Creole than English. Teacher Althea Valle has students of various nationalities trying to master the language.
“It’s a challenge,” Valle says. “There’s a lot of gesturing, and you know sometimes I feel like I’m onstage and sometimes I have to be onstage to make myself understood.”
Cedric Dumornay is a Miami-based actor who's been learning to speak without his accent over the past two years. After he won a monologue competition, a Los Angeles producer suggested he take accent reduction classes.
Michelle Antelo was born and raised in Miami but has never lived anywhere else. After learning Spanish at home from her Cuban parents, she always thought her English, which she learned at school, was up to American standards.
But, as many Miamians have learned, her way of speaking stuck out around people from places other than Miami. When Antelo was a cheerleader in high school, her Broward County teammates told her she sounded different.