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 Suellen Esteves on Mon, 06/07/2020 - 18:38

I think so, I am not human calculator but I manage well.

Submitted by Asni on Tue, 23/06/2020 - 22:06

I'm good at numbers and I like them very much. I wish I was a mathematics teacher. I feel great when I'm dealing with numbers and happy when I'm teaching something to someone.

Submitted by Rafat on Sun, 21/06/2020 - 23:19

I like math so much, it makes me alert,concentrated, math and number is the backbone of the science, I canit imagine life without number. The money, banks,salary, markets,goods, are in touch to a number.

Submitted by abudo93 on Sun, 21/06/2020 - 13:42

Previously, before I start learn with you it was hard for me, but now I'm better with your efforts, thank you very much British council.

Submitted by suraj1995b on Fri, 19/06/2020 - 09:23

Difficult to distinguish 1914 and 1940.

Submitted by Yen Yen nguyen on Thu, 18/06/2020 - 15:38

I think i don't like the numbers

Submitted by Mona22 on Wed, 17/06/2020 - 07:06

when I was a student I didn't because I thought It's hard but now I think it is necessary for my mind and all most things in life

Submitted by Teresa Chi on Mon, 08/06/2020 - 12:09

I think I am not that bad, but i don't like the numbers

Submitted by LarisaAlp on Sat, 06/06/2020 - 18:47

I don't like math, but I remember some numerals easy if they are important for me or for my job. I think that we don't need to remember the phone number because they are in our phons.