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 (52 votes)

Submitted by rpikeri on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 22:41

I am quite well with numbers.

Submitted by Daudau0601 on Wed, 01/04/2020 - 04:12

no, its quite hard to me

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 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.