Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Which materials should I purchase?

Homeschool or Self-Learner: The “Homeschool Package” or “Homeschool Package + Online Access”. Both packages contain everything you need: Student Edition Textbook, Audio, Answer Key, Testing Program, and the Oasis. 

Classroom Teacher: Teacher's Edition Textbook, Audio, Answer Key, and Teacher Test Program. Online Access is highly recommended for improved “remote-teaching.” Each student will need a Student Edition textbook or Online Access Code. 

What’s “Online Access” for Breaking the Spanish Barrier?

An "online access code" provides 12 months of online access to the material of the respective print textbook. The online textbook integrates audio, video, cultural articles, answers, beautiful pictures of sites of interest, and notable people from Spanish speaking countries. The exercises are interactive. A student can click on any single answer, see immediately if he/she is right or wrong, and view the correction. There are also responsive flashcards with sound files, oral questions, video instructional capsules. But the content -- explanations, exercises, dialogues are exactly the same as the print book. Online access provides tools that may appeal to different learning styles (especially auditory/visual learners). 

Why should I 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. Leading elementary, high-schools, homeschool communities, and colleges choose Breaking the Barrier due to our innovative approach to learning language. We have received numerous awards and recognition from organizations including Fast Company, This Old Schoolhouse, the Revere Awards, the state of Virginia, and many others for our pedagogy and language—learning tools. Simply put, 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, hundreds of classroom warm-up activities, a Spanish Vocabulary app, and a pacing guide for self-learners and homeschoolers.

I don't speak Spanish/French/English, but I want to learn or teach my students. Can I use this program? Yes! We recommend purchasing the Homeschool Package or Homeschool Package + Online Access. Both packages contain all you need.

Which level should I purchase?

Simply click 'Spanish,' 'French,' or 'English' and scroll down to each book for the table of contents and a detailed description of the concepts taught in each level.

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?

The teacher and student editions are print textbooks. The teacher edition has the answers printed into all of the exercise sections, while the student book has blank spaces.

What are the digital audio files?

The digital audio files provide great practice for students by accompanying the core textbook/workbook with native male and female speakers from around the Hispanic/Latino and Francophone worlds. Each level models the new vocabulary, contains segments for conversation practice, and offers the audio tracks for the adventure series and 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. The homeschool package also contains audio CDS with the same files.

What’s the difference between the Teacher Edition and the Answer Key Booklet?

The Teacher Edition is a Student Edition 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?

Our books are kept up-to-date with the latest cultural information. We have new printings roughly 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! If you are ordering for your school, you may submit the order form or internally generated purchase order to 978-448-1237 (fax) or orders@tobreak.com (email).

You may also 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 often sell used, old, or very out-of-date versions. 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?

Orders typically ship out the following business day. Most of our books ship via USPS. Free Standard Shipping will ship out USPS Media Mail and typically delivers between 2-10 business days. Priority Shipping will typically deliver within 2-3 business days after shipment. 

What are your shipping and handling charges?

Individual orders ship free via the "Standard Shipping" method up to $500. 

We charge a flat 10% on all Purchase Orders with a minimum of $10.00.

What is your Return Policy? (effective January 1, 2020)

Breaking the Barrier will only accept returns within 30 days of the original invoice date for a refund/credit.

A 10% restocking fee applies to all returns.

All returned items much have been purchased directly from Breaking the Barrier.

A copy of the original invoice, or documentation with the original invoice, 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. Products returned in non-saleable condition will be rejected and cannot be returned to the customer.

Return freight charges are the customer's responsibility and original shipping charges will not be refunded.

Breaking the Barrier is not responsible for shipments lost in transit.

All Digital/Online items are non-returnable.

Please send returns to:

Breaking the Barrier
ATTN: Returns Department
63 Shirley Road
Groton, MA, 01450

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

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

Do the French iBooks textbooks require an internet connection?

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

Does Breaking the Spanish Barrier Online require an internet connection?

Yes. You can access the online books from any device.

How can I order a a French iBook textbook?

Click here.

Feel free to contact us with additional questions!