It's a specific question about academic norms in Canada.

I am not Canadian, but I personally find students chatting while the lecturer is talking is highly impolite, disturbing, and unrespectful to the lecturer. If I am lecturing, it would definitely make me upset if I notice audience is not paying attention to my lecture. I either would take it as my lecture is boring, or something similar.

However, since I am not Canadian, my rule might not apply in this specific cultural background. Would this be considered rude in general in Canada? How's the kids educated here in Canada?

Also, if this is indeed considered rude, how should I, as a part of audience, resolve this nicely and cleanly?

If you think the situations in the States are similar, I would also like to hear about that as well.


Though I didn't mention, I meant situation in post secondary institutions, mainly universities, and majorly undergraduate lectures.

  • Warn them once and if they keep disturbing the lecture just ask them to leave.
    – user64845
    Oct 25, 2017 at 5:53
  • Maybe mention to the lecturer the discussion is making it hard to hear/concentrate and if they can do anything. Also make sure to sit as far away from the culprits as you can manage. I usually sat up front with the 'engaged' students, and the disengaged students were all up the back. Your Milage May Vary. Oct 25, 2017 at 9:36
  • @DavidRoberts adjusting seat does not always work. I got another class before this one, so I have to run to this class. The "good" seats have been fully filled up by "good" students already. I can recall that at least once per week I will seat around this type of students.
    – Jason Hu
    Oct 25, 2017 at 10:06
  • OK, thanks for clarifying. It's worth someone stating the obvious, just in case... Good luck! Oct 25, 2017 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


I think these are just Canadian kids who are just being rude--sometimes younger students will test what they can get away with. I cannot imagine any situation where treating the lecturer like a TV would be acceptable. Tell them you're trying to listen to the lecture and not to them.

  • I updated the question. I meant the situations in universities, in case that means differently as they are not literally considered kids anymore.
    – Jason Hu
    Oct 24, 2017 at 16:10
  • 2
    @HuStmpHrrr We (North America) probably shouldn't refer to college-age students as "kids," but we do. I did mean university. Oct 24, 2017 at 16:12

I think it's rude in any culture. However since your update says its university I've found that these lectures are mainly the responsibility of the students. If they decide not to pay attention then they aren't getting the maximum out of their paid tuition. The professor might be more interested in continuing the lecture without disrupting it so that the students who pay attention get the full knowledge instead of wasting time on people who apparently aren't interested

  • 1
    But people chatting is a distraction for everyone. As a student it's hard to concentrate if people next to you are whispering or speaking. I'd just throw them out of the lecture in such a case.
    – user64845
    Oct 25, 2017 at 5:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .