Arriving late to class

Listen to the conversation between two students to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.


Student 1: Sorry. Sorry, excuse me. I'm just … just coming to sit over here. Phew. Hey. How's it going? So, what have I missed?

Student 2: Nothing. He just started around five minutes ago.

Student 1: Did he say anything about the mid-term?

Student 2: What?

Student 1: About the mid-term tests. Did he say anything about when he was going to hand them back?

Student 2: He's almost finished marking them, he said. We get them next Tuesday.

Student 1: I'm sorry, I didn't catch that. When do we get them?

Student 2: Tuesday. Next Tuesday.

Student 1: OK. Got it. Sorry. What page are we meant to be on?

Student 2: Page 34.

Student 1: Page … 34. Oh, wait. I don't have my textbook. Can I … share with you? Wow. This is hard stuff.

Student 2: Mmm.

Student 1: What does SEO mean?

Student 2: What?

Student 1: SEO. This is all about SEO but he hasn't said what it means.

Student 2: Search engine optimisation. How to appear on internet searches.

Student 1: Internet searches. Right. Right. OK.

Student 2: He said what it meant.

Student 1: What?

Student 2: He explained it before you got here.

Student 1: Oh. Right. OK.

Student 2: Can you be quiet? I'm trying to listen to the lecture.

Student 1: So am I. Sorry. Sorry, one more question. What does this have to do with the American Revolution?

Student 2: What?

Student 1: I don't get it. Why is he talking about search engines in a course on the American Revolution?

Student 2: What are you talking about? This is a class on software engineering.

Student 1: You mean, it's not Early American History?

Student 2: You're in the wrong class.

Student 1: Oh, wow. Now it all makes sense. I'm so sorry.

Student 2: It's fine. 

Student 1: Here, I'll just … excuse me. I'm in the wrong class. Excuse me. Thanks. Sorry.  

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Worksheet78.44 KB

Language level

Submitted by Gema25 on Tue, 25/08/2020 - 04:53

I try to make an effor to understand the class but if I'm in trouble I just write the topic in a post-it and when I go back home I just search or whatch some videos on YouTube to find a solution. I used to ask some friends but I think it might be annoying and I don't want to distract them.

Submitted by Rinaa on Mon, 24/08/2020 - 22:48

Usually, I ask for help from my colleagues. Or when I can understand the lecture, or I'm not in the mood to be concentrated I record the lecture and then I listen to it at the house. And also I take notes of important things and revise them at home. But most of the time I prefer to study on my own, I can understand lessons better and master them, lectures I see as an obligation, not necessary. My introvert type doesn't allow me to raise my hand and to ask a question in front of other students.

Submitted by Asni on Wed, 12/08/2020 - 23:20

I'm kind of shy, so usually when I don't understand something, I write it down on my notebook with a big exclamation mark and then either at break time or when I'm back home, I go through my notes and if I still can't get it ,I search it on the Internet. Most of the time, I end up understanding it, if not I ask for it in the next class.

Submitted by IKEDA on Thu, 30/07/2020 - 16:26

If I can't understand what the teacher says, I would ask some friends in the class after the class end.

Submitted by Hennadii on Thu, 30/07/2020 - 11:30

It's a funny story but I spent over five years in University understanding almost nothing. Still don't know why I chose this specialization. I hadn't any obsession with radio engineering. So, I mostly pretended that I understand what lecturers said and hoped to pass exams. Considering that I graduated from university, I did that successfully. Anyway, it was hard years though. We studied lots of difficult subjects and exams were tough. But, after I finished my study, I realized that I can achieve any goal I want to. That was a fundamental experience that helps me again and again.

Submitted by Hn0062 on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 12:23

Hi everyone, When I didn't catch what teacher said, I asked him say again. Sometimes I couldn't get their words so I asked him help me to make sense for it .

Submitted by wahbi baklouti on Thu, 02/07/2020 - 20:52

I will ask the student near me to summary in two-line what we are studying. and if I can't I will try to make an effort to understand what the teacher said and guess what the subject.

Submitted by Miho Watanabe on Mon, 29/06/2020 - 14:10

I think I'll ask then about that to my friends. But if I haven't understood yet, I'll ask to my teacher after the class. When I don't understand something, I cannot rise my hand in the class, because there are a lot of people in the classroom, so I'll ask about that after class.

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Sat, 27/06/2020 - 10:01

In this case, I have almost never experienced that I didn't make sense when I was at school or university. I would rather ask questions about something I don't get it at the end of the class. If I get to class and it started before I get to, I prefer to wait and listen to teacher until I make an opportunity to ask about things I don't understand. I think it is so much bad to bother another students. They have to concentrate on what the teacher is going to talk about. Sometimes I realize all things after listening to the whole lecture, especially when teacher is going to summarize his/her lecture at the end of the class. Regards, Tayyebi

Submitted by Federico Benitez on Fri, 26/06/2020 - 21:59

i regretfully don´t ask to the teacher because of my embarrassed. But since not for a long time i´ve started to ask, no matter what haha

Submitted by senes19 on Thu, 25/06/2020 - 10:58

So, firstly I am waiting suitable time for questioning what I didn't understand. Then, I want to grap main issues about topic. Finally after the lesson i ask my friends what I should know.

Submitted by ayoubr84 on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 17:19

when I cannot catch a lesson within the classroom ,I try to determine precisely which sequence didn't make sense for me then I usually check on the internet to find courses related to the lesson , and that's why I picked up British council which offer a beneficial stand contains the main english skills to improve , more than that those skills are delivered in accordance to user's level .

Submitted by mouna99 on Tue, 26/05/2020 - 14:40

When I don't understand something in the class I ask the teacher about it

Submitted by BlaiChan on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 11:16

I would ask a student some helps near by, like what have I missed? What is the teacher teaching about? if I don't get that. I would ask him/her after the class and try to make all senses.

Submitted by teya10 on Sun, 26/04/2020 - 19:32

when i don't understand something in class wich is important to understand the rest of the lesson i ask my friend who is sitting next to me or when it's not verry important i write my question down and at the end of the classe i ask my teacher or i try to discuss it with my colleagues

Submitted by Clàudia Melero on Thu, 23/04/2020 - 19:51

This listening has helped me to improve my ability to pay more attention. The vocabulary is very well understood, I find the audio easy to understand.

Submitted by Nerea on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 11:25

In this listening, (Arriving late to class, that takes part in the intermediate level, B1) I can deduct that this girl is studying at the university due to the fact that she ended up in a wrong class because in comparison with the high school, the university is bigger than the secondary school. For this reason when I study in the university I will take care of where I go and trying not ended up in the wrong classroom like the girl. This listening has helped me to continuing learning more and algo help me in paying more attention to it.

Hello Nerea

Yes, that is correct -- nice deduction!

Please note that LearnEnglish is made for adults (people aged 18 or older). If you are younger, we invite you to visit our sister site, LearnEnglish Teens. You might find the topics a bit more interesting and relevant there.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by JuanManuelLopezGil on Tue, 21/04/2020 - 00:41

Always, I get up my hand and ask.

Submitted by Marta Roura on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 18:31

This listening has helped me to be attentive to what they say and then do task 1 and 2. I have also learned with the transcript to understand the listening better. The preparation has been useful to learn other expressions.

Submitted by Nerea on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 12:44

This listening it has helped me to continuing learning more and also help me in paying more attention to it. This is a great page!!

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 19:29

What to do is to ask questions from either classmates or the lecturer.

Submitted by Lucía López on Fri, 17/04/2020 - 11:37

Hello, This listening it has helped me to understand what they say because i had the option to look at the text if I need. I seems easy to understand. I really learn in the task 2, structuring the sentences.

Submitted by Nerea Garcia on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 12:55

This listening it has helped me to continuing learning more and also help me in paying more attention to the listening. This is a great page!!

Submitted by Daudau0601 on Thu, 16/04/2020 - 04:20

I am studying at a university and there are many problems i don't get it, i often ask a teacher or my friend. If i still don't understand these problem after they explaining, i will find the answer on my own. It makes it sense

Submitted by Ayzhan on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 09:38

Hello, everyone! If the same happens with me, usually I ask to somebody, who is sitting near wih me, or I ask to a teacher.

Submitted by jesus on Mon, 13/04/2020 - 15:57

Hi guys; When I went to the university there were not another posiblility to ask questions to the teacher or your classmates to understand the topic. There were no internet. If you had any doubt you have to solve at class or on your own. Today it is easier to find a solution because you can have a new lecture on the net which solve your questions. Bye

Submitted by micaela on Thu, 09/04/2020 - 03:49

In that case I usually ask the more closer partner about what I missed. hahaha... Somtimes, I have to wait for the better moment when I must ask

Submitted by Nurten on Sat, 28/03/2020 - 12:33

If I do not understand something that my teacher said I ask my friends but if I don not understand the topic about the lesson I ask it to my teacher or I search it on internet

Submitted by jason2295 on Sat, 21/03/2020 - 00:59

When I don't undestand something in class I ask to my classmates or I go to the internet to search about the issue I need to improve.

Submitted by Nikolaos Stavr… on Thu, 19/03/2020 - 12:35

If it's a lecture, I wait for it to finish. When it's finished I ask my teacher everything I haven't got. Well, because I am a foreigner I don't catch everything straight away. All the best Nikolaos

Submitted by César Árraga on Thu, 19/03/2020 - 00:18

Well, If I don't understand something in the English classes, I sometimes enquire to my classmate in order to explain me what we have to do exactly on the excercise, but in some special occasions I prefer to ask to my teacher directly. So, next in either case both of them repeat it to me again.

Submitted by vilma caram on Tue, 10/03/2020 - 13:07

Hello, I think always is better ask, because you don't learn and you have a mistake all the time. if you didn't understand you would ask to the teacher.

Submitted by conejo on Tue, 10/03/2020 - 02:46

If I dont understand something I try to Pay attention. But if ten minutes after I am still Lost, I ask a lot of questions.

Submitted by Sara mohammed on Sun, 23/02/2020 - 14:04

In this case we have two options the first one is to raise your hands and ask your teacher. The second is to ask students sitting beside you. For me i prefer the first option to not make noise or interrupt my colleagues.

Submitted by shahhoseini on Sun, 23/02/2020 - 08:50

It is better the students consider the following points for the deep understanding of a lesson: 1- They must come to class on time. 2- They must listen to the lecture carefully. 3- They must write some of their questions 4- After class, they must refer to the textbook to find answers to their questions as much as possible. 5- If they couldn't obtain their answers must take time from the teacher and ask him to explain them. Dear teacher, I think I have repeated some words like 'they' and 'must' too much. What is your opinion?

Hello shahhoseini

I don't find that you use 'they' or 'them' excessively here, but if you wanted to avoid them, you could use simple imperatives instead of 'They must ...'. For example: 'Come to class on time, Listen carefully,' etc. That would also reduce the user of 'must'; alternatively, you could use 'should' or 'have to' or both to vary things a bit.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by huyentran on Sat, 15/02/2020 - 10:34

When I was in middle school, I was good at math. But when I went to high school, I became bad at math. I am very sad about myself because mathematics in my country is the main subject and if I want to be a good student, my math score must be high. In class, I often do not understand math lessons, in those times I would ask my friends about things I find difficult or complicated and sometimes I also ask teachers about my problems. Fortunately, my friends and teachers were very kind, always explaining me wholeheartedly. It made me feel very happy but some of my classmates were grumpy, they didn't want to take the time to explain it to me but I understood and sympathized with them.

Submitted by mehrazin on Sun, 26/01/2020 - 17:27

At the end of the teaching whenever the teacher asks us have nt u had any problems or was it clear ? i raise my hand and ask my question, if its useless again and i dont percept again i prefer to ask one of my classmate to explain me the tips have to do with the course.

Submitted by I P on Sat, 14/12/2019 - 18:53

Sometimes, when I can t understand, or miss something during the class, I ask my friend ( who sits with me), - what is that about, or try to figure out by myslef, but I do never ask my teacher, because I m too shy

Submitted by OmarAdelSherif on Fri, 04/10/2019 - 19:01

When I don’t understand something in class, either I ask my friends and try to understand what I haven’t got or I raise my hands to get what I haven’t understand from my teacher.

Submitted by Captainblack_009 on Sun, 29/09/2019 - 09:05

What ı have missed? What have ı missed? This two quesition mean same or not? Because ı wrote what ı have missed? Answer is not correct.

Hello Captainblack_009

'What have I missed?' is the correct form and the other one is not correct. In most questions, the word order of the subject (in this case 'I') and the auxiliary verb ('have') is inverted, in other words, changed.

You can read more about this on our Question forms page.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Lydriannah on Mon, 23/09/2019 - 15:22

I have completed the following lesson of Arriving late to class. The level that i choosed was intermediate B1 listening. When i don't understand something in class, i always ask my friend until i get what the lecturer say because im a slow pick up person and need to ask it again and again in order to understand it. Beside that, i plan to record their voice in case i wanna listen on what was our topic for the day so that i won't disturb my friend during classes and only ask if i really don't understand

Submitted by Lydriannah on Mon, 23/09/2019 - 15:15

This is quite interesting. The guy is exacy like in class except i dont arrive late and went to the wrong class.

Submitted by nuryatie binti abdal on Thu, 19/09/2019 - 10:22

i have completed the following lessons of A phone call from a customer, Arriving late to class, and Meeting an old friend.The level that i chose was intermediate B1 Listening.

Submitted by syahirah suhaimi on Thu, 19/09/2019 - 08:26

I have completed the following lessons of A phone call from a customer, Arriving late to class, Meeting an old friend . The level that I chose is Intermediate B1 Listening.

Submitted by Muhamad Aqmal … on Thu, 19/09/2019 - 08:22

I have completed the following lessons of Arriving Late to Class.The level that I chose was intermediate B1 listening

Submitted by marcalyn on Thu, 19/09/2019 - 07:52

I have completed the following lessons of Arriving Late In Class. The level that I chose was Intermediate B1 Listening.