stephanie stainlay

I am an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and creative. My tertiary qualifications include a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Drama) and Diploma in Education at QUT, which was completed in 2012. I currently work full-time as an assistant language teacher in a public junior high school and elementary school in Kobe, Japan.


Since graduating, I have worked as an actor for independent Brisbane theatre shows and enjoyed collaborating on different creative projects both locally and internationally. Travelling to Timor-Leste in January 2015, I worked alongside Kinetic members with local dance and theatre troupes to facilitate dance classes, culminating in a public performance in the capital of Dili.


In 2014, I began work as an ESL teacher for the not for profit organisation Career Employment Australia in Logan, Queensland, working with refugees and Australians in need of literacy support. During my time in Logan I initiated my student’s involvement in the public art project The Homesickness Project, which explored the expanded idea of homesickness. My project, entitled Moving In, looked at housing and rental issues faced by her students living in Woodridge, Logan.


It has always been a goal of mine to live abroad and immerse myself in a new and different culture. After an extensive application process, I was accepted into the JET Programme (Japanese Exchange and Teaching Programme) and relocated to Kobe, Japan in July 2015. Since moving, I have formed strong bonds with my new students and co-workers. My goal as a teacher in Japan is to pass onto my students the same enthusiasm I have for learning in the classroom and in life. I hope to broaden my young student’s minds in the English classroom, so that they may eagerly and confidently explore the world later in life, just like I have.


While exploring Japan, discovering it’s many traditions and learning a new language I have also engaged with the dance community in Kobe and wider Japan. In July 2016, I travelled to Hakuba, Nagano which is a small town below the Japanese Alps. There I completed a 9-day intensive Butoh training course with the Japanese Butoh company Dairakudakan, which culminated in the company’s famous Golden Performance. A free, public performance held at the base of the Japanese Alps. This summer intensive has been one of the biggest highlights of my experience in Japan to date.


I also regularly volunteer at English camps for young people and teaches, using dance as a way to learn English in a fun and creative environment. While in Japan I hope to continue to broaden Kinetic’s international network.

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