Apologies for the vague title, but I wasn't sure how exactly to put the situation.
My 11-year-old sister refuses to read properly. (I am out of the house, but my parents discuss the problem with me frequently and are not aware of this forum.) She seems to like the idea of reading: she carries books out of the house with her (perhaps because I always did too), holds them open at appropriate times, and has ready answers to questions like "what's your favorite book [character]?" However, she almost certainly doesn't actually read the books. The answers to questions like that always pertain to books she has been "casually reading" for weeks and she cannot answer more in-depth questions about them. If books are assigned for school and there are questions to answer about the reading, she will answer them as directly from the text as possible. Based on the age recommendations on the backs of the books she has around (or online), she isn't being asked to read anything at all above her age level.
For example, this past summer I was asked to help her with an assignment on Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I was at home and monitored her reading each night until she finished the book. The first part of the assignment asked for a brief summary of the book, but when I asked her to describe "what happens in the book" to me, she gave a list of events: Annemarie and her friend have a race, then they run into soldiers, then they go home, then Annemarie's mother is made nervous by the encounter, etc. I had to use extremely leading questions to get her to arrive at any kind of plot, and she was essentially lost for the rest of the assignment, which concerned theme and character development.
The same problem arises in speech and other written language. She likes computer games and YouTube videos (the kind that star tween girls of mid- to high-production value and look sponsored by some kind of media enterprise), but if a story is involved, she cannot recount that story. She speaks very fast, but repeats herself, uses filler words excessively, and is frequently irrelevant. She will laugh at things other people say (that aren't jokes), but when asked what she thought was funny, she either can't or won't explain. Placing hard limits on TV/computer time haven't improved these areas. (My parents ensure that she finishes her homework no matter what.)
My sister was in a dual-language program where most of the students, like her, do not speak English at home and have overall very slightly worse English scores than the kids in the other classes at the same school. Though I went to entirely-English schools, I find it unlikely that this was a problem, as her friends/classmates seem to be fine readers and even speak more fluently than she does. Now that she is in middle school, her new teachers aren't cutting her any slack for being in the dual-language program (although I didn't think they were supposed to anyway) and she's falling behind even more. She has never been tested for a disability; however, the teachers of her small elementary school class have never recommended that. She seems to be fine at math and socialization.