AEMP it Up!

logo   Academic English Mastery Program

By Jacquelyn L. McDaniel, The Urban Educator (April 2017)


Dr. Noma Lemoine

dr lemoine speaking

Educational Consultant Dr. Noma Lemoine,  sole proprietor of LeMoine and Associates Educational Consulting,  is not only a nationally recognized expert on issues of language, literacy acquisition and learning in African American and other Standard English Learner (SEL) populations, but for twenty years, Dr. LeMoine served as Director of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Academic English Mastery Program (AEMP).  The AEMP implemented in 81 schools, is a comprehensive, research-based program designed to address the language acquisition and learning needs of Standard English Learner (SEL) populations.   It is also, the driving force behind the creation of this blog.

The Program supported teachers, administrators, and paraeducators in effectively incorporating culturally and linguistically responsive pedagogy into core instruction.  Under Dr. LeMoine’s visionary leadership, the Academic English Mastery Program became the national model for addressing the language, literacy and learning needs for African American and other students for whom Standard English is not native.  The Program has been featured on 60 Minutes, in periodicals including Education Week and Teacher Magazine, in the PBS Documentary “Do You Speak American” and has been lauded by linguists as the exemplary instructional model for addressing the language acquisition needs of African American Standard English Learners (SELs).

Check out a 15 min. interview of The California Association for Bilingual Education interview with Dr. Lemoine, if not, save it and watch later…

but don’t “set it and forget it” !

Do Your Speak American:  “Transcripts of  Episode 3 interview with Dr. Noma Lemoine”

We don’t have nothing to do.
Oh, I’m sorry. That is not accent translation into mainstream American English. So you’re at minus four hundred. So let me roll and see which team will have an opportunity to get it. I might roll you guys again. One!
Anything, anything, anythingdo you speak America
We don’t have anything to do.
Excellent translation!
I think perhaps the biggest misunderstanding is the idea that we are somehow teaching African American language — teaching Ebonics if you will — We don’t need to teach African American language
They don’t need to teach it cause they come speaking
They already know it.
Yeah, yeah
Our task is to help move them towards mastery of the language at school in its oral and written form, but to do that in a way where they are not devalued, or where they feel eh denigrated in any way by virtue of their cultural and linguistic differences.
Because when you begin to devalue youngsters, and make them feel that who they are doesn’t count, then we’ve turned them off from education.



wordle of culturally responsive lit in the shape of US mapCRRE Culturally Relevant and Responsive Education – spearheads the LAUSD’s Action Plan and approach to Closing the Achievement Gap. The acronym is referred to when discussing classroom instruction as well as the school climate and culture more generally

CRRP Culturally Relevant and Responsive Pedagogy – is synonymous with a Culturally Relevant and Responsive Teaching Style or Approach to teaching core instruction.

Buy it!

Standford Alumni Gloria Ladson-Billings, a University of Washington professor, is known for her “groundbreaking work in the fields of Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and Critical Race Theory. Ladson-Billings work The Dreamkeepers: Successful Teachers of African-American Children is a significant text in the field of education.” (Wikipedia).   In her 1994 book, The Dreamkeepers, Dr. Gloria Ladson Billings defined culturally responsive [practitioners] as possessing these eight principles:

1. Communication of High Expectations

2. Active Teaching Methods

3. Practitioner as Facilitator

4. Inclusion of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students

5. Cultural Sensitivity

6. Reshaping the Curriculum or Delivery of Services

7. Student-Controlled Discourse 

8. Small Group Instruction

Dr. Sharoki Hollie Book
Get a Copy!

CRL Culturally Relevant Literature is culturally and historically authentic texts about the students’ own cultural experience in multicultural America; captures students’ interests and engages and motivates them to read.  When planning lesson, don’t forget to utilize CRL Critera to determine whether classroom resources are Culturally Relevant and Responsive to Students (Classroom Resources).  Check out some knowledge from an intricate part of the development of AEMP, Dr. Sharroky Hollie, author, professor, co-founder of the Culture and Language Academy of Success (CLAS), national expert, and executive director of The Center for Culturally Responsive Teaching and Learning.

“Once students learn to appreciate literature in the context of their own culture and experiences, they can better appreciate and interact with the literature of other cultures.”   Adapted from Violet Harris (1992) Multicultural Literature in the Classroom

What is MELD? MELD – Mainstream English Language Development– refers to the development of listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in standard/mainstream American and academic English for Standard English Learners. Daily MELD instruction takes place for 30-45 minutes for SELs, similar to ELD instruction for English Learners.


So, now that you KNOW better…

you must DO better!  


Use the resources below to AEMP up your instruction an make your classroom Culturally Relevant.




Embedding Culturally Relevant and Responsive Teaching (CRRT) into Core Instruction

Elementary CLR Instructional Resources

CCRE Instruction Resource Manual

CCRE Professional Development Models (Embedding CCRE Pedagogy)

AEMP 6 Access Strategies & Classroom Observables

CCRE Instructional Video Series

CCRE Quality Indicators

CCRE Instructional Support Video List

Culturally Relevant Literature Criteria

CCRE Literature List

AEMP Culturally Relevant Literature for Classroom Use

AEMP Criteria for Lesson Development & TaskStream Publication


In order for students in urban areas to have access and equity in education, they must be instructed my urban educators that realize each student is a possible “rose that grew from concrete”.  


If you would like to share any resources that would be beneficial to urban educators or those working with “Concrete Roses” in urban areas…


Let’s Connect!




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