I could stick to a dictionary entry/definition, but I think you would like something more elaborated (or then I am a bit of a babbler today...) he hee.
I learned English against all odds , I learned from my teachers, and despite them, because I had to navigate between what they shared to me.
That is, sometimes they got it right (pronounce for instance) and sometimes unfortunately they didn´t, anyway I dig it deeper and here I am, I learned wonders. Of course, I am grateful for what they passed on to me, and also happy for my willingness to learn the language.
I have learned English the hard way, for most of the time it was a self-taught thing. It took a lot of (self) motivation and willingness to find proper English and input. But where´s there a will there´s a way!
To learn English, I had to get out of my comfort zone, I had to work hard on it, sometimes I had to find a way forward, it doesn´t matter how difficult or how challenging it would be!
I learned English without any help (or without much help), it wasn´t effortless but the effort paid off/the effort has paid off.
And other ways.