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 …


Worksheet78.61 KB

Language level

Average: 4.1 (31 votes)
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Submitted by quyenquyen87 on Wed, 03/06/2020 - 09:16

Yes, I like the numbers because it helps me distinguish between houses or the numbers of streets in the city.

Submitted by Sharif Tayyebi on Tue, 02/06/2020 - 20:03

Yes, I think I know numbers very well. I don't have any problem.

Submitted by amal.araia on Sat, 30/05/2020 - 00:33

I think I am not that bad.

Submitted by Milena1 on Mon, 25/05/2020 - 20:40

Yes, I like the numbers but it also depends on what it is about. For example, I can explain mathematics excellently to elementary students, but I cannot do it with university students.

Submitted by Gelebishokarma on Thu, 21/05/2020 - 11:18

Very useful topics, it is an informative to me.

Submitted by Tania Maria on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 21:00

I like this kind of activity( listening) because it has helped me improve my ears and has developed my vocabulary and grammar sctructure.

Submitted by Diemquynh9101 on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 14:17

No, I don't good with numbers because i don't remember numbers like vehicle numbers or phone number.