ASEAN for Grade 5

It’s week 17 so English Teacher Online presents the last new topic for semester 1, ASEAN for Grade 5.

What is ASEAN?

ASEAN is an abbreviation for Association of South East Asian Nations, a group of 10 countries that work together for peace and stability in their region. It was founded in 1967 by Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. Later, they were joined by Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. The motto of ASEAN is, “One Vision, One Identity, One Community.”

The flag of ASEAN is set upon a blue background with 10 yellow rice stalks drawn in the middle of a red circle with a white circumference. The blue represents peace and stability; red represents courage and dynamism; white represents purity; and yellow represents prosperity.

ASEAN covers a land mass of 4.4 million kilometers, 3% of the total land area of the Earth. The population of ASEAN is approximately 625 million people, 8.8% of the world’s population. In 2014, ASEAN did business worth over $2.6 trillion US Dollars.

The “ASEAN Way” refers to how the 10 member countries use quiet diplomacy to solve their problems without bringing discussions into the public eye. Countries avoid embarrassment (which is very bad in many Asian cultures) that may lead to further conflict. It has been suggested that this “ASEAN Way” should be used to reduce conflict globally.

Students in each of the countries are encouraged to learn about the other members of ASEAN. Usually a presentation includes information such as capital city, population, land mass area, currency, spoken languages, flag colours, important people, key industries, as well as any number of interesting facts about food and culture.

Students learn about similarities with other ASEAN countries as well as their differences. In this way the ASEAN family faces global challenges together from a point of understanding and shared respect.

ASEAN plus 3 also includes China, Japan and South Korea. These 3 countries are seen as important partners who can help ASEAN because they are Asian neighbours with strong economies.

What’s your favourite ASEAN country and why? Please share your ideas in the comment section.