Every Monday and Wednesday, senior Elia Chou travels to Sausalito to take AP Spanish Literature, a class offered every other year at Redwood. She takes classes at Tilden Preparatory in downtown Sausalito.
After spending the summer of her freshman and junior year on service trips to both Costa Rica and Ecuador, Chou developed a passion for learning and perfecting the language.
“I thought it was really cool when I went on those two trips — getting to interact with people and getting to know people that were from another culture and spoke another language,” said Chou. “Because I could also speak Spanish, I was able to communicate with them and be friends with them. I’m still in contact with a lot of the people that I met on those trips.”
Chou has been taking Spanish since sixth grade and feels that being able to speak a foreign language is very intriguing.
“I got excited about it because we read a story in class that was an example of something we’d read in AP [Spanish] Literature. I thought it was really cool being able to read literature that’s in Spanish.” said Chou.
Because she couldn’t access the class at Redwood, Chou found a program that would earn her AP credit, while teaching her something she is passionate about.
AP Spanish Literature attracts two different types of students: native speakers and people who wish to work towards fluency. By taking Spanish 5-6 as a freshman, Chou was prepared for one of the most advanced Spanish classes offered by her senior year. Most students enter into a Spanish 3-4 class.
Tilden Prep, which originated in the East Bay, recently built a new office in Sausalito.
“It’s kind of like Fusion where it’s a class, but it’s a private teacher kind of thing,” said Chou.
The environment is unlike that of a classroom in the way that it’s set up. Tilden Prep. works one-on-one with its students, which is a beneficial method to Chou.
Pushing past the aggravation of the extended, traffic-ridden commutes, Chou makes the journey twice a week to pursue this language study.
“It is really inconvenient for me to have to drive to Sausalito and then be there for two hours twice a week,” said Chou. “I have to go outside of my own schedule, outside of class.”
Despite the commute, Chou will head off to Tilden Prep. twice a week for the rest of the school year in order to stay in touch with her passion and strive for fluency.