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 LanHoangThi on Fri, 08/12/2023 - 04:14


No, I totally have dificuitly with numbers in listening. I tried listening lots of times so haven't much significant improvements not yet. I'm trying

Submitted by arizonova on Thu, 16/11/2023 - 06:54


Oh, it's challenging to recall all the figures and dates from the audio, whether it's in my native language or another foreign language. It's just difficult to remember and repeat.

Submitted by hinddja on Thu, 26/10/2023 - 19:39


i have an acceptable level with numbers.

Submitted by Mateoarango3 on Fri, 20/10/2023 - 21:09


Yes I Do, usually I need listen this lecturer about facts and figures much times but I'll start to understand. See you later

Submitted by kungfupanda on Fri, 13/10/2023 - 05:01


So, I am not sure that I am really good in numbers. I know them but I can't fastly use

Submitted by Rajab421 on Sat, 16/09/2023 - 21:40


No, all the times I forget .

Submitted by Safe_Mode on Mon, 19/06/2023 - 14:01


No, I'm not good with numbers in despite of my technical job. I even don't know why I shod be good in it.

Submitted by tokpassimariusesdras on Tue, 13/06/2023 - 23:31


The audio is very hard for me. First time I don't catch anything, but several times I catch some words

Hello tokpassimariusesdras,

It's great that you listened many times. This will really help you. I'd encourage you to keep trying and to listen to different audios at this level. You might also enjoy our Audio series in General English.

Good luck!

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish team