Creating a Healthy Learning Environment
Welcoming Your New Student
Students excel when they are provided a quiet, structured, learning environment where they can study and complete their school work. Does your home provide such a space for your incoming international student? A healthy learning environment is one that provides students with a dedicated, quiet location in your home to study. Such a space should provide the following:
Busy surroundings can make for a difficult time focusing on important work for anyone. The difficulty increases when attempting to study in a foreign language in a foreign place. Some students may not be used to having a dedicated place at home for them to conduct their studying and complete their work; so this may be a new concept for them. However, when clear expectations regarding the importance of having an established learning environment with clear guidelines on the reasons why; your student may start to see the benefit of a distraction-free space for him/her. One thing to remember, if you have children of your own still living at home; it is essential that they have the same expectations and learning environments (appropriately tailored to their age/academic growth) to dissuade any instances of showing favoritism.
- A desk with drawer space to store books and school supplies
- A lamp to read by
- A comfortable yet firm chair
- A clock to monitor time spent studying
- A computer, with internet, if applicable
- Placed in a quiet location, preferably in the student’s bedroom or away from loud noises
Establish rules for how to conduct themselves when in this learning space and how to keep it clean; this will minimize any potential for behavior or cleanliness issues. Also note, each child/student should have his/her own dedicated learning space in the home to ensure that everyone succeeds and receives one-on-one support from the adults in the home when needed.
Make sure the basics are in place before your student arrives, but allow them the opportunity to discuss with you ways to make it more personable/homey to them. The more inviting it is for them, the more they will want to spend their study time in the space.
We invite you to read the Host Family Guidebook for more information on ways to create a healthy learning environment for your international student.