About us

Founded in 1997 by educators, Breaking the Barrier is a global leader in print and digital language learning. Featuring instruction in Spanish, French and English, Breaking the Barrier provides students with a rock-solid understanding of language fundamentals as well as cultural insights from around the world. Our programs genuinely offer students the fastest path to true language fluency.

Breaking the Barrier blends the rigor of serious content with simplicity, clarity, and a student-friendly voice. The tone is informal and conversational – a one-on-one session between teacher and student. By the end of our series, students will have practiced every important topic in the Spanish, French, or English language. They will have the confidence to read, write, and speak fluently. Our books engage students – both young and old – with updated topical content that’s culturally relevant and just plain fun.

Whether you are just starting a foreign language, reviewing a language you began years ago, or gearing up for an AP, SAT II or placement examination, we are confident that our programs will help you achieve your language goals.

Our Courses


Author and Series Editor

John is the principal author and editor of the Breaking the Barrier series. Since 1981 John has taught Spanish in the Modern Language Department of Groton School, Groton, Massachusetts. A graduate of Evanston Township High School and Amherst College, he earned his M.A. in Spanish Literature and Linguistics from the University of Wisconsin. John has worked as a consultant to the College Board for the Advanced Placement program and served on the Test Development Committee for the AP Language and Literature Examinations. He has also worked on a pilot educational program for People en Español magazine and as a consultant to Early Advantage, distributors of Muzzy, the award-winning BBC language course for children. Currently he writes a monthly column, “Hablando de Gramática,” for the popular on-line magazine Think Spanish. A devoted classroom teacher, an enthusiastic advocate for his professional colleagues, and a lively public speaker, John presents his acclaimed workshop, “The Ideal Lesson Plan – Ten Steps to Total Fluency” to teachers from coast-to-coast.