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 …

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Worksheet78.61 KB

Language level

A2 English level (pre-intermediate)

Submitted by Eswar on Wed, 18/03/2020 - 02:11

Yes i would love to hear the numbers. Basically i love to do math. obviously it likes me a lot.

Submitted by jason2295 on Tue, 10/03/2020 - 22:54

I am really good with the numbers in English, I always listen the number and I repeat it.

Submitted by luongquocdinh on Tue, 10/03/2020 - 15:10

I feel difficult listen english number. In this audio, I heard wrong numbers.

Submitted by Giahaitruong on Wed, 04/03/2020 - 12:00

I always feel difficult to say the numbers in English. Especially with year and date. I have to stop and think about how to spell it before I say.
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Submitted by ILYES on Sat, 08/02/2020 - 17:46

Good quistion , let me think about that for moment , ammm im good in nembers but i don't like the calculation

Submitted by shahhoseini on Mon, 20/01/2020 - 13:43

Yes, I am. It is very interesting to me that know numbers related to historical or geographical issues, but I forgot the price of things.

Submitted by Dariusz on Mon, 20/01/2020 - 13:34

It's hard to say, I have never wondered but I think I'm good because I can numbers in memory.

Submitted by Fredandy on Thu, 02/01/2020 - 17:07

Yes but without practice, i forgot some

Submitted by Nasser_mo on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 13:46

Yes, but I need more exercise to get better

Submitted by aliens06 on Fri, 08/11/2019 - 10:52

i haven't got problem with numbers

Submitted by f.agadr on Tue, 05/11/2019 - 12:53

f.agadr Yes,I'm.I love dealing with Numbers and Math

Submitted by Maksmatt on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 19:55

Yes, I am. I still remember som phone numbers of my friends in school though it is 30 years ago. But it sometimes happen that I forget my pin for my credit card....

Submitted by ikmalzulkifli on Thu, 03/10/2019 - 06:47

This is good , thank you for the questions

Submitted by Raqueline Monteiro on Thu, 05/09/2019 - 13:27

Hello everyone! I have a little difficult with numbers, but in this lesson I understood the majority of numbers. I so happy! Thanks for everything.
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Submitted by Magedelabd on Sun, 25/08/2019 - 17:48

Yes I am good with numbers . I answered all the numbers questions correctly.

Submitted by popo1011 on Mon, 19/08/2019 - 08:42

I do not learn numbers easily, I should think about it in every podcast, but this lesson very good and I heard that several times and I understood. thanks

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 César Árraga on Tue, 02/07/2019 - 04:21

I've liked the numbers since I was a child and I really love doing numerical calculations. I liked numbers so much, so that my favorites subjects were Maths, Chemistry and Physics.

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.
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Submitted by mtalebi on Fri, 03/05/2019 - 10:39

When we listen, it's difficult to distinguish between some numbers, for examples 1914 or 1940.