There is an urgent need to invest in teacher education programmes in the Arab world. Outdated curricula and methodologies, reliance on rote learning and not enough qualified teachers present a threat to the quality of education in the region. This presentation outlines a qualitative case study that explores the perceived and observed impact of shaping and contextualizing teacher education reading pedagogy upon an evolving system of knowledge, beliefs and reading teaching styles in a UAE context. The findings suggest that by attending to a Vygotskian constructivist-based contextualized EFL model of second language teacher education pedagogy, the potential to enhance the capacity of Emirati female student teachers to teach reading successfully and enact pedagogic change in government schools is increased. While investigating the unique features of the case itself, these findings may have resonance for teacher education programmes in other Middle Eastern contexts.