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Breaking the Spanish Barrier....HELP!


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I am obviously not breaking any barrier right now! My son has been working through this program. He just finished taking the second test, and I feel clueless. Both tests have information that has not been covered. He has also found items that show different things in the book vs. test key. I admit that my Spanish is almost nonexistent, but I thought this was a beginner program from the ground up. Obviously, I'm not implementing this correctly, or I need to actually know Spanish well in order to master this program. Any suggestions on how to actually use this so that it works? Please tell me that I didn't blow $100 on yet another homeschooling product that isn't going to work!

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Are you sure there are things that are not covered or is that just what he says?

 

I haven't used BTB Spanish, but we are using BTB French. All the information on the tests has been well covered unless it is a direct translation word that they just expect the student to guess "intelligent" or "magnifique" for example. The student has to thoroughly READ the instructions on every page and then apply what those instructions say to the exercises that follow it. Dd totally failed at this when I let her try it on her own last year. We had to start over with me working through it with her, but that solved all the issues here.

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Are you sure there are things that are not covered or is that just what he says?

 

I haven't used BTB Spanish, but we are using BTB French. All the information on the tests has been well covered unless it is a direct translation word that they just expect the student to guess "intelligent" or "magnifique" for example. The student has to thoroughly READ the instructions on every page and then apply what those instructions say to the exercises that follow it. Dd totally failed at this when I let her try it on her own last year. We had to start over with me working through it with her, but that solved all the issues here.

 

 

No, this isn't just what he says. I check the tests and look through the book when I have questions. I also check each exercise in the book and do most of it with him. On the first test, he was suppose to translate sentences with words that were never covered in the lesson, and one of the words was also used in the composition section. There were plural adjectives used in the oral section and answer the following question section which was not covered in Lesson 1 either. For test 2, one of the words for dictation was spelled wrong on the answer key, and the plural form of the adjective was not explained for the word celular. Also the composition section is extremely difficult when you haven't learned that many words. I realize this may not seem like that big of a deal, but my son studies a lot for his tests. He is really making an effort. When he missed things that aren't covered, it's extremely frustrating for him because honestly it's unfair. I don't hold him responsible for material that isn't taught, but as a student, who wants to take a test when you know there are going to be items that you are clueless about. I feel like this is a supplement and certainly not a stand alone product.

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I will admit that my first impressions haven't been great. They didn't mail out my curriculum when promised. I had to call several times. It took 2 weeks to arrive and should have arrived in a few days. The disc they sent was blank so I had to call again and have another mailed out. I have a hard time getting someone to answer the phone or return my messages. It's just been a frustrating experience all around. I read some great reviews so it's been rather disappointing that my experience has been so poor. I called again today for help, but no one answered so I decided to send an email. Hopefully, I will get some feedback.

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I'm not a fan of Breaking the Barrier spanish. I bought it for my daughter and realized it was not going to work fairly quickly. We switched to Oklahoma State University Spanish online which was 1000% better.

 

Last year in private school they used Breaking the Barrier Spanish for Spanish 2 but only as a supplement.

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We tried BTB two years ago and had the same problems. That, coupled with not enough review for my dd, caused us to switch mid-stream. We did a local class with mixed results last year. This year we are going with La Clase Divertida online, and it's working out well so far. My 9th grade ds is starting right off the bat with La Clase Divertida. Oldest dd complains about being the guinea pig :tongue_smilie:!

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We had a similar, very disappointing experience with PowerGlide Spanish for high school. Moved too fast and contained a ton of stuff in the student portion and tests that just wasn't in the lessons/reading. Plus, you can no longer get online support for it ( they are selling a different program now, which appears to be internet-based), which was something not mentioned in Rainbow Resource when I purchased it. It is still being marketed by Rainbow Resource, with a glowing review! We were extremely frustrated and disappointed. Whatever you do, give PowerGlide a pass!!

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We are using So You Really Want to Learn Spanish - SYRWTL - from Galore Park. I was hesistant about trying to learn a foreign language from a book, but it is going well.

dd11 and ds10 are working through it together with no input from me at all, and so far no sibling fights or problems!

That calls for :lurk5:

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We used all of BTB 1 (French) but felt the same way. Not enough review for mymdd and it moved too fast. We started book 2 this year but have switched to French in Action, which is going much better.

 

Hi Elinor,

Would you mind sharing with me the best way to purchase French in Action?

We were going to purchase BTB French, but I'm rethinking it now...due to the responses here.

Thanks!

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Hi Elinor,

Would you mind sharing with me the best way to purchase French in Action?

We were going to purchase BTB French, but I'm rethinking it now...due to the responses here.

Thanks!

 

Well, that's tricky!

 

I bought it piece-meal over several months. I now have the Student Guide, Student Workbook, Textbook, and audio CDs, and we watch the video free on Annenberg. Oh, and I just purchased Student test banks with answers from someone on this board.

 

I bought some from Amazon, some from other places - I just googled what I wanted and found the best price. Because FIA is a college course, we're taking it slow over two years. My dd has had French for several years, so the beginning is easy, but it ramps up quickly. She also Skypes with a tutor in France, and that's been the BEST thing I've done. Her conversational skills have skyrocketed, and since we go to France every year or two, it's important to her. Last time we were there, she did most of the talking, especially at the town markets when we were shopping for groceries every week. Her tutor even invited us to lunch at his house! This summer we had the 16yo son of a good friend come over for two weeks, and that was great for our French (and very good for his English).

 

Anyway, more than you wanted to know, but that's how French is going in our house this year. :D

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Thanks Elinor!

 

I think I remember now why I had decided on BTB over French in Action (all the hunting down for French in Action :lol:)! Well, I'm still on the fence about this...and the need to buy is getting really close now. I'll see what I can find over at Amazon.

 

Thanks so much. I think it's wonderful that you have a tutor. If we ever get settled down enough and can find one, I'd like to arrange that for the girls too.

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Wow. I'm finding this thread really disheartening. I had ds try Visual Link Spanish last year because of good reviews here. It started out well, but ds got very tired of the program by the end of the year. I had hoped it would count for a Spanish I high school credit, but because it didn't really teach any grammar, I decided he would have to redo Spanish I this year or he would be lost in any program I gave him. BTB got good reviews here, so we chose that program for this year. Now everyone is saying that it didn't work for them and they've had to switch. I don't have $300+ dollars for an online class. I don't mind using a book without audio for Latin as that's not a spoken language, but I don't really want to do Galore Park textbook Spanish because I want him to learn to speak the language, not just read and write. What other options are there? Or is there a way to tweak BTB to make it work? I'll be very disappointed, like the OP, if this is another $100 for program that won't work for us. But if it won't work, I'd like to know now and not waste another year on it.

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Thanks Elinor!

 

I think I remember now why I had decided on BTB over French in Action (all the hunting down for French in Action :lol:)! Well, I'm still on the fence about this...and the need to buy is getting really close now. I'll see what I can find over at Amazon.

 

Thanks so much. I think it's wonderful that you have a tutor. If we ever get settled down enough and can find one, I'd like to arrange that for the girls too.

 

When the time comes, I found ours at Verbal Planet. Large selection of tutors with lots of choices - gender, age, country, etc. We're thrilled with ours!

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