Breaking the Language Barrier Programs

Written on the premise that the fastest way to learn a language is a solid understanding of grammar, Breaking the Language Barrier (BTB) is a core text, workbook & reference all in a one-on-one conversational format between teacher and student. While other programs focus on listening and speaking alone, BTB has a different approach. You start out with conversation right away, which will bring up questions, but don't worry because all of the grammar will be explained by the end of the book. It is very clear where you need to listen to the CD and what track to go to. You can also just listen to the CDs in your car, or whenever, for more pronunciation & listening practice. New for 2020 is Online Access, which includes all audio from the CD in online format, along with videos, enhanced content from the text and more so now you can choose between CD and online content or add the Online Access for your audio/visual student. You will write in the text and it is not reproducible. Listening to the audio is like having your own Spanish or French teacher sitting with you. When given the chance to write or speak your answers to the exercises, try and do both.

Level 1 (Beginner) is for someone with no prior language experience, but it can take a few tries to get used to the new sounds and spellings. For this reason, you will spend a lot of time on pronunciation in level 1. Also covered in Level 1: maps of French or Spanish-speaking countries, subject pronouns, regular/irregular verbs in the present tense, adjective/noun agreement, plural, prepositions, expressions, d.o./i.o. pronouns, possessive adjectives, past tense, weather, reflexive verbs, imperfect, near future, partitive, choosing between the 2 past tenses, commands, and the future tense.

Level 2 (Intermediate) has quite a bit of English at the beginning and less towards the end. It reviews present tense, past tense of irregular verbs, negatives in past, imperfect, more irregular verbs, conditional tense, relative pronouns, pluperfect and future perfect, imperative, numbers, expressions, subjunctive, present participle, comparatives, superlatives, adverbs, and idiomatic reflexive verbs.

Level 3 (Advanced) has very little English, reviews the maps, the 2 past tenses, pluperfect, imperative, future, future anterior, recent past, conditional, past conditional, negative, comparisons, phrases, expressions, subjunctive, and more.

Homeschool Packages include the student book, an answer key booklet, a printed test packet and a small, laminated pocket language guide (perfect for travel & quick reference) for that specific level. There are two Homeschool Packages to choose from with the release of the Online Access: the Homeschool Package with audio CDs or the Homeschool Package with Digital Audio (Online Access). For the enthusiastic language student, you can now purchase 3 levels at one time. Levels 1-3 packages with audio CDs include all materials listed under "homeschool packages" for all 3 levels of a single language. We offer the components a la carte as well. Instruction and practice exercises are done in the Student Worktext. The back of each book has additional student resources including a verb tense reference, glossary and index. The Answer Key booklet (loose leaf, in sleeve) has answers to all of the student book exercises. The Audio CDs model new vocabulary by native speakers and include a 6-part adventure series, reminis­cent of old-fashioned radio shows. Each scene is followed by comprehension questions. The new Online Access features all audio from the CDs, along with enhanced content from the Worktext such as videos, cultural articles, interactive answers, flashcards, pictures of sites of interest, and more. Printed Test Packets are loose leaf and reproducible. Includes test answers. Teacher Test CDs are printable tests and test answers. You need either the printed tests or the teacher test CD, not both. There are some additional warm-ups and lesson plan ideas at this link: www.tobreak.com

Each course is designed to cover an entire school year and should qualify for full credit at the high school level. You must have a Homeschool Package to get started. Do not try and make this work with just the student book. The grammar is quite in depth, and there is more writing with this course than a computer course. Even with the fantastic content in the online portion, your student still needs to write on paper to learn the language. This is NOT a complete course without both components and will not qualify for high school credit if only one part is completed. Every type of learner will benefit from reading, writing, speaking and listening to the new language. The comprehensiveness and thoroughness of this program is what makes it so great!

If you have middle school students, they can do Level 1 now, and save Levels 2 and 3 for completion during high school. You could also elect to do half of Level 1 in 7th grade, the other half in 8th grade, and still count it as a high school credit. I really liked the straightforward style and independent format of this program. A parent can administer the tests and check answers with the key, or have the student grade their own exams and exercises in front of you, explaining as they go. Parents are not expected to know the language themselves, so no need to worry. This is a well-designed program that does not require anything special beyond a CD player, or a computer or device with internet access. If you have been asked to teach a homeschool co-op, this course is a great option as well. Student book is 320 pages, sb. ~ Sara




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