How is Breaking the Barrier different from other language programs?

Breaking the Barrier blends the rigor of serious content with simplicity, clarity, and a student-friendly voice. It’s important to us that students not only develop strong language skills, but that they also have a wonderful and enriching experience while doing so. We want students to feel confident speaking, listening, and writing a new language.


Questions about our curriculum:


How do I know what level I should get?

Our Level 1/Beginner book is designed for students with little or no experience in the target language. We often recommend that students begin with our Level 1 text so that they build strong foundations with the grammar and vocabulary found throughout our series.

Level 2/Intermediate and Level 3/Advanced books build on the topics covered in previous titles and are designed to be rigorous year-long curriculums. That said, all books are divided into 12 chapters, making it easy to divvy up a book across multiple years–something many of our users do!

What’s the difference between the student and teacher editions?

Both the teacher and student editions are bound books, but the teacher edition has the answers printed into all the exercise sections, while the student book has blank spaces.

How about the audio CDs? Can you tell me about them?

These CDs provide wonderful practice for students by accompanying the core workbook-textbook with native male and female speakers from around the Hispanic and Francophone worlds. Each CD set models the new vocabulary, contains segments for conversation practice, and offers the audio tracks for the adventure series or cultural articles. The CDs come in a handy cover, and icons in the book tell you the corresponding CD track for each exercise.

What’s the difference between the teacher edition and the answer key booklet?

The teacher edition is essentially a student book with answers printed into it. The answer key booklet, on the other hand, is a loose-leaf packet containing printouts of the exercises with answers filled in.

How often do you update your books and what changes do you make?

We make a point of continually updating our books in order to keep them up-to-date with cultural information. Our recent practice has been to update the Spanish books each year and the French books every other year. These updates keep our books fresh and current and allow us, for example, to list current heads of state and populations on our country maps.


Questions about ordering:


How do I order your materials?

Click here to go to our webstore and order online. If you are ordering for your school, you may submit this order form or your own internally generated purchase order to 978-448-1237 (fax) or (e-mail). Questions? Give us a call at 978-448-0594.

Can I purchase through third-party resellers like Ebay and

While many book resellers offer our books, they sometimes sell used, old, or very out-of-date versions. And, they are often more expensive than on our site! To ensure that you receive the most recent books for the lowest prices, you should order directly through us.

I need ISBN numbers to order through my school. Where can I find this information?

A full list of our products with ISBN numbers is available on our order form.

How do you ship your books?

We ship most of our books via UPS Ground. However, most smaller orders are sent via Priority Mail from the US Postal Service.

What are your shipping and handling charges?

We charge a flat 10% with a minimum of $8.00.

What is your return policy?

Returns Policy for Schools, Wholesalers, Cooperatives and Distributors   (effective October 1, 2017)

  • All returned copies must have been purchased directly from Breaking the Barrier.
  • Shortage and/or damage claims must be reported to Breaking the Barrier within 30 days of delivery.
  • A copy of the original invoice, or documentation with the original invoice number, ISBN, and quantity returned, must accompany all books being returned.
  • Returns must be received in their original new, undamaged, unopened/sealed, and saleable condition. Breaking the Barrier reserves the right to determine saleable condition.
  • Return freight charges are the customer’s responsibility and original shipping charges will not be refunded.
  • Breaking the Barrier will accept returns within 60 days of the original invoice date.
  • A 10% restocking fee applies to all returns.
  • Breaking the Barrier is not responsible for shipments lost in transit.

Returns Policy for Individuals

Customers are eligible to return physical materials purchased directly from Breaking the Barrier within 30 days of the purchase date. All returned materials must be in new, unmarked, unused and saleable condition. Shrink-wrapped packaging must remain unopened. Opened shrink-wrapped items are non-returnable. If material is sent back to us in damaged or otherwise non-saleable condition or was purchased more than 30 days from our receiving the returned items, the items will not be accepted and credit will not be issued.

Returns will only be accepted for product originally purchased from Breaking the Barrier. Product purchased from other sources (wholesalers, publishers, distributors) may not be returned and credit will not be issued.

iBooks textbooks and apps are not returnable.


Questions about our iBooks Textbooks


What is the difference between the iBooks version of the textbook and the print textbook /Audio CD / answer key booklet?

They contain most of the same material! But iBooks textbook integrate the exercises, the audio CDs, and the answer key booklet into one convenient, interactive, digital book. In addition, the iBook textbooks have videos that the print books do not.

Do the iBooks textbooks require internet connection?

No! All of the materials are self-contained within the iBooks textbooks, which means that after downloading the book, no further internet or wi-fi connection is required.

How can I order the iBooks textbook?

Our iBooks textbooks are available through the iTunes Store and iBookstore. Click here to view our publisher page.

A new edition has come out for the iBooks textbook, how do I update mine?

You will be automatically notified when there is a new edition available, and you can download the update for free!


Other Questions:


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There is a sign-up box in the footer of every page. Simply enter your e-mail and click “Subscribe” and you will be added to our list!

How can I send a note to John Conner, our founder and lead writer?

John loves hearing from our readers, so feel free to send him a message at!