Frequently Asked Questions

What should I purchase?

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

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

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.  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, hundreds of 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 (email).

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?

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 $8.00.

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.

Digital items are not 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 / answer key booklet?

They contain most of the same material! The exercises are the same. However, digital books integrate the exercises, the audio CDs, vocabulary flashcards, 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!