This research explores the ways in which students might learn to utilize linguistic forms in appropriate contexts. We conducted a survey on the usage of -teiru among native speakers, investigating how it is used in everyday conversation. Our results show -teiru has various functions, such as "a response when looking for people", "preliminary remarks before an invitation" and "a strategy for developing a conversation". It became clear, however, that these functions are not mentioned in most textbooks. Based on the results of our survey and textbook analysis, we elaborate on an appropriate application of Japanese teaching that helps students to better connect with Japanese society.