If your browser does not support current web standards you will not be able to view this page as it was designed. Please consider upgrading to a standards-compliant version.

Hopelink Adult Education Tutor Support Hopelink/Adult Education Hopelink Adult Education Tutor Support

Workplace Lesson Idea: Calling in Sick, Late or Absent


By the end of the lesson, your students will be able to talk to their manager at work, identify themselves on the phone, and give an excuse for tardiness or absence.

  • Warm-up: Use the Situations handout to talk about reasons for missing work or arriving late for work.
  • Discuss what are appropriate reasons to call in. Examples are doctor appointments, being sick or having a child who is sick, car trouble, or very bad weather such as snow or flooding. Discuss what are NOT appropriate reasons, such as being tired or wanting to do something else.
  • Tell your students: If you must miss work or be late because of illness or an emergency situation, you are responsible for calling your supervisor and notifying them. It is possible that you will have to get a message to your supervisor if they are not able to come to the phone.
  • Use the handout Calling in Late or Absent. Assign students to different parts and read the dialogues aloud.
  • Break up into pairs and practice telephone conversations for various situations, such as illustrated in the handout. Since this a situation that everyone will probably encounter at one time or another, it can be role-played with students and a play phone for a prop. It will be more useful if students can use the real name of their supervisor and a reasonable example from their work.
Hopelink Adult Education | Copyright 2011 Hopelink
Toll free: 800.870.1912
11011 120th Avenue NE
Kirkland WA 98033
31957 E. Commercial Street
Carnation WA 98014
North King County/Shoreline
15809 Westminster Way NE
Shoreline WA 98133