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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.

Preparation

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Listening A2: Facts and figures – preparation

Put the words in the correct group.

1 / 9

ocean

2 / 9

to cross

3 / 9

goods

4 / 9

commercial

5 / 9

canal

6 / 9

kilometers

7 / 9

ship

8 / 9

waterway

9 / 9

trade

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Transcript

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… 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

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Listening A2: Facts and figures – 1

Answer the folowing questions

1 / 4

Every year, around _______________ships come through the canal.

2 / 4

The United States finished it in

3 / 4

The French started building the canal in 1881

4 / 4

The Panama canal is ....

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Task 2

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Listening A2: Facts and figures – 2

Complete the sentences with the correct numbers.

1 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

1. The Panama Canal connects ______________ oceans.

2 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

2. It is ___________ kilometres long.

3 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

3. It is ___________ kilometres to travel around South America.

4 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

4. It takes ______________ hours to cross the canal.

5 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

5. The canal was started in _______________

 .

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15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

6. It was finished in _______________ .

7 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

7. Almost ___________________ people died while they were building the canal.

8 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

8. The control of the canal returned to Panama in _______________ .

9 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

9. Every year, about _____________ ships come through the canal.

10 / 10

15,000 - 1881 - 2 - 2000 - 82 - 99 - 40,000 - 25,000 - 1914 - 8 to 10

10. Now the canal is bigger, and ___________ per cent of ships can pass through it.

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