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

Pre-intermediate: A2

Hello AzaelRZ,

There is a technical problem with our audio. I'm sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for telling us. We are working on a solution and hopefully the audio will be working soon.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Tea

Submitted by Dastenova Firuza on Sat, 11/07/2020 - 18:53

Numbers are my weak pint, unfortunately.

Submitted by SHERIFHAMOUDA on Fri, 10/07/2020 - 20:59

i think that because i spent around 20 years with the numbers because i'm accountant

Submitted by Hennadii on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 16:24

As an engineer, I have to be good with numbers. We use them a lot in your profession. When we design or build construct something, when we made a research or material calculation. Math is an important tool in the engineer's hands. Of course, we don't need to do all this stuff like our precursors used to do - manually. We have computers but you still need to be confident with numbers ..... and computers as well. So, I know it's hard to master Math and numbers but that's the way the mop flops. Don't give up folks - Math is great!

Submitted by Anneke Putri on Wed, 08/07/2020 - 02:56

when it comes to English, I think I'm bad at number. but, if in Bahasa, I think I can do it better.

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.

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.

Submitted by Fatemeh.Najafzadeh on Wed, 13/05/2020 - 01:41

Yes I am. But I’m confused about listing when there are a lot of different numbers and dates in the context.

Submitted by afmaldini on Tue, 05/05/2020 - 10:57

Yes, I am. But there is a problem when I'm trying to identify between fourteen and forty, etc. To overcome this problem I learn basic English pronunciation.

Submitted by ademyonet on Fri, 03/04/2020 - 16:17

Yes, I am good with numbers. I quickly learn vehicle plate numbers and telephone numbers. In fact, I know that by this time I had plate numbers all of my vehicles.

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 jason2295 on Tue, 10/03/2020 - 22:54

I am really good with the numbers in English, I always listen the number and I repeat it.

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.

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.

Submitted by Fredandy on Thu, 02/01/2020 - 17:07

Yes but without practice, i forgot some

Submitted by Nasser_mo on Mon, 11/11/2019 - 13:46

Yes, but I need more exercise to get better

Submitted by aliens06 on Fri, 08/11/2019 - 10:52

i haven't got problem with numbers

Submitted by f.agadr on Tue, 05/11/2019 - 12:53

f.agadr Yes,I'm.I love dealing with Numbers and Math

Submitted by Maksmatt on Mon, 07/10/2019 - 19:55

Yes, I am. I still remember som phone numbers of my friends in school though it is 30 years ago. But it sometimes happen that I forget my pin for my credit card....

Submitted by ikmalzulkifli on Thu, 03/10/2019 - 06:47

This is good , thank you for the questions

Submitted by Raqueline Monteiro on Thu, 05/09/2019 - 13:27

Hello everyone! I have a little difficult with numbers, but in this lesson I understood the majority of numbers. I so happy! Thanks for everything.

Submitted by Magedelabd on Sun, 25/08/2019 - 17:48

Yes I am good with numbers . I answered all the numbers questions correctly.
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