This step’s pretty easy. Super easy — physically, that is. All you do remove, delete, give away or otherwise destroy all your non-essential L1 materials.
This is where you basically confine all the materials you didn’t destroy in step (1) to a specific region of physical or virtual space.
Now, Steps (1) and (2) are pretty standard AJATT practice. They were never named per se, but they’ve been touched on in old skool documents like:
- The Immersion Environment: Rome wasn’t built in a day…But this isn’t Rome, so a week should totally do, and
- Japan is Wherever You Are: 10 Ways to Turn Your Environment Japanese
3) Reverse Pollution
You’ve done the removal. You’ve done the sequestration. But sequestration is as excellent as it is dangerous. Why? Well, it’s sort of like keeping a bunch of “criminals” together — you don’t correct them, you just turn them into even better criminals. Lie with dogs, catch fleas and all that.
There is perhaps always the danger of a “relapse” or “binge” back into your L1. Part of the reason we do the removal and sequestration is to suppress the behavioral attraction — the “centripetal force”, if you will, of the L1. But the attraction may remain. And if one does “succumb” — slightly moralistic and melodramatic choice of words, I know — to the pull, then the purity of the sequestration becomes its very danger — you have created an L1-only physical/virtual space that if touched, could set you up for an L1-only chain reaction. So here’s what you do to fix that:
Go back on the offensive and “poison” (“pollute”) your sequestered physical and virtual L1 spaces (rooms, bookshelves, file folders) with L2 material. That way, if you ever do have an L1 nostalgia binge, it’s mitigated by L2 content, bringing you back to your goal. It’s like filling a prison not just with criminals but also with a bunch of “incorruptible”, upstanding citizens, to act as a counterweight and a shining example. No, it’s better than that, it’s like somehow magically filling junk food with fresh spinach. Yeah, it’s that cool.
So, put concretely (computer example here), say you have an L1/English media folder, one that for whatever reason was not amenable to outright deletion, one that you’ve separated off from everything else and put out in the virtual boonies. Perhaps it’s even off-board, on its own external drive that’s rarely connected — so, pretty well sequestered, both physically and virtually. You now go and fill it with L2/Japanese materials as well; you “pollute” it with L2 content so that if and when you do access it, there’s automatic, built-in L2/Japanese “suppression fire” going on.
OK, let’s review.
- Create and maintain many L2-only spaces in your life
- Destroy (uncreate) all L1-only spaces in your life. Invade and pollute them with your L2.
Anyway, yeah that’s it! 😀 . If you have a cool immersion technique, you should totally share.