Professionals Turn to Accent Reduction Classes

Carolina Freedman can read and write English perfectly but says she's been embarrassed when speaking it.

She says she's had people tell her they don't speak Spanish when she's speaking English.

"I was like, what's wrong with me?" she said. "Come on, I study a lot."

It's why she's taking accent reduction classes at CASA with teacher Marco Onofre.

He says the biggest mistake Hispanics make is that they try to pronounce vowels in English like they do in Spanish. He says the same thing goes for consonants like T and P that sound different in Spanish. Also the sound made pronouncing B and V sound different in the two languages.

"They need to know first, the sounds, the correct sounds," Onofre said. "So I worked on that."

Onofre says his accent was made fun of too until he figured out what he was doing wrong.

"I lived in New York where there weren’t too many Latinos and so I had problems communicating," he said.

His experience prompted him to publish a book he now uses with his students.

Luis Pieschacon is one of his students.

He's a realtor who believes improving his pronunciation will help his bottom line. 

"I have a lot of customers because of my personality," he said. "But in order to have more, and to be more competitive and successful, I need to improve my English."

His wife, Mara Parra agrees. She's taking classes because she finds it difficult to practice English living in Miami since so many people speak Spanish.

"I speak Spanish all the time basically," she said.

Learn more about accent reduction classes at CASA and at Miami Dade College by clicking on the links.

Contact Us