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The research presented in this paper was collected over a one-year period and is drawn from a wider two-year study of student teachers at the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates, in a new Bachelor of Education degree, which prepares young Emirati women for English language teaching positions in local government schools. The study theorized the student teachers as comprising an evolving community of practice and this paper draws on data from online discussion forums to explore the discursive construction of interpersonal relations within this community of practice. In particular the paper draws on critical discourse analysis to examine a range of discursive `legitimation` strategies, through which the student teachers co-constructed community and communication. The paper concludes with a brief consideration of the study`s implications that may also have resonance in other contexts where systems of knowledge and forms of communication are being discursively co-constructed.