Forced migration can bring adults who have previously been denied formal education and print literacy into contact with highly technological and literacy dependent societies that lack the knowledge and expertise to cater to them as simultaneous learners of language and literacy. As educational disadvantages are often conditioned by gender, many of these learners are also women and mothers who may continue to have fewer opportunities to engage in education after settlement due to their gender and life roles. This qualitative study focuses on the experiences of fourteen refugee-background women settled in Sweden and New Zealand, who had no formal education or literacy prior to displacement. Employing a Bakhtinian dialogical framework, it investigates their lived experiences in terms of agency, affordances and identity and argues that the complexity of simultaneous language and literacy acquisition is often underestimated. © 2024 The Author

DOI: 10.1016/j.linged.2024.101309
ISSN: 08985898