Facts and figures

Facts and figures

Listen to the lecturer giving some facts and figures to practise and improve your listening skills.

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



… and the next part of this talk is on the Panama Canal. It's amazing how this one small section of a small country can be so important to the world. Let's learn a little bit about the canal itself, before we look at how it connects to everything else.

The Panama Canal is an artificial waterway in the Central American country of Panama that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. It is only 82 kilometres long. If you go around South America by ship then you need to travel another 15,000 kilometres. So the canal saves a lot of travel time. It takes around 8 to 10 hours to cross the canal.

The French started building the canal in 1881, but they couldn't finish it. The project was started again in 1904 by the United States and the canal was finally finished in 1914. Many people died while they were building the canal, some say up to 25,000. For the rest of the 20th century, the United States controlled the canal, but gave control back to Panama in 2000.

Every year, around 40,000 ships come through the canal. These are mostly commercial ships. They transport goods for trade between Asia and America, or Europe. In 2016 the government of Panama made the canal bigger, so that now 99 per cent of ships can pass through it.

Let's now turn to the role of the Panama Canal in the global economy …

Task 1

Task 2


Worksheet78.61 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (53 votes)

Submitted by Oneiric Sandy on Fri, 02/08/2019 - 04:10

Thanks to this lesson, I have just developed my memory in terms of numeral storing.

Submitted by Myat Noe Htke on Mon, 15/07/2019 - 08:16

I have failed in this lessons.

Submitted by Setareh on Thu, 11/07/2019 - 03:22

Yes, I am good with numbers , I love it and I can read it

Submitted by Wahiba on Mon, 10/06/2019 - 17:17

I think that I’m very good with numbers I often use a mental calculation , to find a futur date or for get a total of operations , I use for this different languages I speak Arabic French and English.

Submitted by shankis on Wed, 05/06/2019 - 01:50

i replay the audio for 4 times , it is tricky at first because it was difficult to distnguish betwen some numbers for example 1881 ,1914....

Submitted by cittàutopica on Wed, 29/05/2019 - 19:54

I'm quite well, even though I found difficult to recognise the numbers which look like similar in spoken language.

Submitted by Gustavo Mendez… on Wed, 29/05/2019 - 11:34

The first part was tricky, may I get only the ideas and didn't kept the order of the appearance of the words

Submitted by GLeal on Tue, 14/05/2019 - 00:40

It was an excellent practice. I understood every word and sentence.