"He is a junior high school student, but he is taller than me."
Why do i need to say that he is 一个 student? In english we say 'a' all the time but they don't say 一个 that often in chinese unless its necessary information. Some of these sentences are translated so awkwardly it feels like it came out of google translate.
Believe me, I know what you mean. Just keep filing the reports and hopefully they'll make it better.
It sounds more natural to say 一个 in this context, because of the adjective 初中. If you were to say only “他是学生” it could be considered accepted. But, even in this case, it is still better to use the the measure word, rather than not using it. Other examples:
这是 一个 很漂亮的姑娘 This is a (个) very pretty girl
那是 一座 红色的楼 That is a (座) red building
这是 一只 小狗 This is a (只) puppy
Removing the measure words in these sentences is not incorrect per se, but sounds very strange, equivalent to saying "this is red building; this is puppy, this is pretty girl".
To my mind your analogy with English is invalid, as English, unlike Chinese, absolutely requires a determiner with a singular noun in these cases.
That said, I don't know what's more common. I'd be interested in hearing from a native Chinese speaker.
Out of curiosity: where do you all live? Not doubting skill or expertise, I'm just curious as to how big of an impact does our location have to our Chinese.
Like for me, 一个 here doesn't feel unnatural for me; though I would probably say 他是个 rather than 他是一个.
Yes, I would say that too, but tāshìge just seems to be more fluid than tāshìyige, like the difference in you're and you are while writing an essay or formal writing. There's no difference in context.
As for location, I don't think that really matters either.
Yes you can. I think 大陸人 like using "gezi" more. In Taiwan you hear it far less.
For teachers, yes; for students, not necessarily. 一位 is used for respected people e.g. 长辈 (elders and such), and students are 晚辈.
This does not sound right. Junior High school I thought should mean a junior in high school, which Chinese people call it: 高二学生。初中生means Middle School student. From a Chinese Native.
No, junior high school is approximately the same as middle school. A region may call it one name or the other, but usually won't have both. The upper and lower grades may vary slightly from place to place, but junior high school and middle school are both properly translated as 初中.