Frequently Asked Questions

What should I purchase?

Homeschool/Self-Learner: The Homeschool Package has everything you need: Textbook, Audio, Answer Key, Testing Program, and the Oasis. 

Teacher: Teacher's Edition Textbook, Student Edition Textbook, Audio, Answer Key, and Testing Program. 


Why should we choose Breaking the Barrier? Series Author John Conner has taught Spanish for over thirty years. His instruction has led thousands of Groton School students to feel comfortable speaking a new language. They have scored highly on AP examinations and embraced what they've learned about new cultures.  We have received numerous awards and recognition from organizations including Fast Company, This Old Schoolhouse, the Revere Awards, the state of Virginia, and others for our pedagogy and technological tools. Simply put, we feel that Breaking the Barrier's approach is the fastest way to achieve true language fluency. 

Do you offer additional resources? Yes! Please visit the Other Resources tab on the homepage. We offer cultural articles, classroom warm-up activities, a Spanish Vocabulary app, and a pacing guide for self-learners and homeschoolers.

I don't speak any Spanish/French/English, but I want to learn. Can I use this program? Yes! We recommend purchasing the Homeschool package. It contains all you need. For Spanish vocabulary practice, make sure to review our Spanish Vocabulary App. 

Which level should I purchase?

Simply click 'Spanish,' 'French,' or 'English' and scroll down to each book for a detailed table of contents.

Generally speaking, 

Our Level 1/Beginner book is designed for students with little or no experience in the target language. We 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 digital audio files? Can you tell me about them?

These digital audio files provide wonderful practice for students by accompanying the core textbook/workbook with native male and female speakers from around the Hispanic and Francophone worlds. Each level models the new vocabulary, contains segments for conversation practice, and offers the audio tracks for the adventure series or cultural articles. Icons in the print book tell you the corresponding track number for each exercise.

After you purchase through our website, you will be sent a link for a one-time download of the audio files. 

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

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

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

We make a point of keeping our books up-to-date with the latest cultural information. We have new printings every other year. Page numbers do not change. These updates keep our books 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?

You can purchase online from our store! If you are ordering for your school, you may submit the order form or 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 Amazon?

While many book resellers offer our books, they sometimes sell used, old, or very out-of-date versions. And, they are almost always more expensive than the prices on our site! To ensure that you receive the most recent books for the best price, please order directly through us. It helps us stay in business! 

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 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.

What is the 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.

Digital items are not returnable.

Questions about our Digital Textbooks:

What is the difference between the digital version of the textbook and the print textbook /digital audio files / answer key booklet?

They contain most of the same material! However, digital books integrate the exercises, the audio CDs, and the answer key booklet into an interactive, digital book. 

Do the iBooks textbooks require an internet connection?

No. All of the materials are self-contained. After downloading the book, no further internet or WiFi connection is required.

How can I order a digital textbook?

Click here.

Feel free to contact us with additional questions!