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

B1 English level (intermediate)

Submitted by Vi on Sun, 15/11/2020 - 08:56

When I don't understand something, I may ask my partner in the class, or try to find useful information in the books or on the Internet.

Submitted by togrul01 on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 17:34

Maybe, I asked my classmate like this boy, however, I asked very slowly and I could ask a little question

Submitted by mahmutkilic0408 on Wed, 04/11/2020 - 08:57

uummmh, I guess , I would do what the boy did.
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Submitted by javibuendi on Tue, 03/11/2020 - 11:02

When i don´t understand something in class, I usually search it on internet. That´s because I´m a little bit shy and I would feel awkward if I interrupted the lesson, and because when you ask the teachers they normally take a long time to answer the question, so in that case, Google is faster. Cheers from Madrid.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Sun, 11/10/2020 - 17:17

i always ask my friend ,then she tells me that she didn't understand too after this we both start laughing :)

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 15:52

When I don't understand something in class, I ask a question to the teacher, raising my hand up, and then I got it.
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Submitted by cassiamattos2013 on Tue, 22/09/2020 - 23:24

When I don't understand something in class, about any topics, however, I know I need to ask a teacher about the subject, I really have shame, because I'm very shy. But how I need to do that, I always take courage and with my heart in my hand, I ask about my doubt, because I don't like to keep with some question about anything topics.

Submitted by Mattia Ciccarelli on Sun, 13/09/2020 - 16:34

If I don't understand something, I ask to the teacher to repeat that
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Submitted by Ivy Yang on Sat, 12/09/2020 - 17:20

If I have questions about the teachers' lectures, I will never ask them. In my opinion, teachers always make the problems worse =))) My classmates are helpful, they are willing to help me with those question whenever I need; so I often ask them for the answers
Yeah,that is mostly true.I really rally feel for you.Sometimes I ask about just small information which needs only 30 sec explaining and here we go you can not stop my teacher)))
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Submitted by danisep on Fri, 11/09/2020 - 21:29

I am not the kind of person that makes a lot of questions in class, unless that topic is a lot important or interesting, I'd rather ask my partners or friends in class, I prefer those classes when the teacher explains the subject with stories and not in a typical way.

Submitted by katyatorres on Thu, 10/09/2020 - 02:53

I usually feel frustrated because I couldn't understand everthing, however when the class finish I ask to some of my classmates about the things I didn´t understand and then they explain me everything. I finally do my own summary about the class.

Submitted by Mai Khin Nway Shein on Wed, 02/09/2020 - 10:47

Sometime I didn't understand some words that the teacher said cause of interrupting by someone or my less concentration. At these situation, I asked my colleague after the class.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Mon, 31/08/2020 - 07:49

I think I would raise my hand and I would ask the teacher. But sometimes most students can hesitate or shame by asking.

Submitted by Danbraga on Fri, 28/08/2020 - 02:04

If I don't get something said, I ask for saying that again. "Hey could you say that again please ?"

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.
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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

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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!!
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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.
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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.