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)
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Profile picture for user afredo_954

Submitted by afredo_954 on Wed, 10/07/2024 - 14:34


I'm no bad, but it isn't my best.

Submitted by KelvinDo on Thu, 13/06/2024 - 05:22


Are you good with numbers?

I am just normal with numbers, but I am not scared about math, I can calculate fast math like add, minus, times, and divide in business but I am not good at geometry. I felt I could work with the number because I was patient with it.

Submitted by ubaid332 on Wed, 15/05/2024 - 08:22


Yes, I am good at numbers while listening it is difficult for me to understand it. I am now trying to listen more to numbers by practicing listening tasks and will be able to increase my listening skills.

Profile picture for user CanVD11

Submitted by CanVD11 on Wed, 20/03/2024 - 08:11


Are you good with numbers?

I'm good with numbers and figures. My math, and physics are good, in fact, I often receive high scores in these subjects. Moreover, currently, I work as an electrical engineer, so you know my job requires math skills to calculate and handle technical problems that I have to deal with. If it is English numbers and figures, I can understand if you speak slowly, sometimes, I misunderstand them when trying to remember all of it. 

I will try my best to enhance my number skills by listening more and using frequently in my tasks and my daily communication


Profile picture for user Stellayennipham

Submitted by Stellayennipham on Thu, 14/03/2024 - 15:40



Are you good with numbers?

=> I have no head for figures, honestly. I find it much more challenging to listen to numbers in any foreign languages. I almost failed my English listening semi-final exam due to the number part. Moreover, I have difficulty calculating too. 

Profile picture for user natinnatnat

Submitted by natinnatnat on Sun, 04/02/2024 - 15:48


Listening to numbers is a little bit confusing for me, So I try to focus extra hard when I’m listenings to numbers.

Submitted by Jim34 on Fri, 26/01/2024 - 16:44


Are you good with numbers? A little, because I know how to say all the numbers in English, but listening is more difficult. So I try to have a paper to write down the number that I heard, and then check it.

Profile picture for user alessandro.it

Submitted by alessandro.it on Mon, 15/01/2024 - 20:36


I am good with numbers if you don't speak to fast, otherwise sometimes I misunderstand them or I forget quickly them. I remember my English teacher at the high school saying that she wasn't very good with numbers, even though she was an excellent no mother tongue English teacher, but with a beautiful pronunciation.

Submitted by DzhusAngela on Mon, 25/12/2023 - 19:42


Yes,I think I'm good with numbers

Submitted by roris_hs on Tue, 12/12/2023 - 10:50


I'm not really good in numbers. I need more time to understand what you said before. But I did my best to gett through it.