Dr. Anthony Becker is a Assistant Professor in the English Department, where he teaches courses within the TEFL/TESL program and coordinating workshops for the newly-established INTO initiative at Colorado State University. He holds Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in Applied Linguistics from Northern Arizona University and Georgia State University, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. His current teaching/research focuses on second language assessment, research methods in applied linguistics, and meta-cognitive aspects of writing.
Outside of academia, Anthony enjoys being outdoors and spending time with his wife, their son, and a very vocal cat. He is excited to be in Fort Collins and is looking forward to contributing to the great learning environment at CSU.
Faculty Profile: Anthony Becker
~by Brianna Wilkins
What brought you to CSU?
A U-Haul truck [laughs]. But I worked in [Washington] DC for a testing company, both me and my wife; we worked in the same office too. One day she asked me if I saw the posting for this job at CSU, but I wasn’t interested in looking for another job at that time. She was like, “Look you need to apply.” So first I read the job description, and was like wow, this seems like it was written for me. I submitted my application, did the phone interview, and then finally came out here. Everything just felt very natural, and it seemed easy to adjust to this department; it just seemed like it was meant to be. When I got the call that I was hired I didn’t hesitate; I knew that I really wanted to come here.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I’d be crazy not to say that I enjoy working with students. Although at times it can be really frustrating because I’m really jazzed and excited about what I’m teaching, and sometimes you just hear crickets, and students are sometimes checking their phones. You think you have a great lesson, but they think otherwise. But it’s great when they (the students) start making connections between things, or when you see that they’re very excited about learning, and genuinely want to know more and begin asking questions. Not just questions like, “Is this going to be on the test?” but questions that challenge the both of you to think and stimulate your mind.
What’s your most favorite class to teach at CSU?
My most favorite is Assessment (E634); it’s a graduate class, and I’m teaching it this semester. For me it’s my background. I’m very passionate about it, and it’s the most interesting because it combines aspects of language learning and math. To me it’s kind of fun, but a lot of students come to my office and get nervous and ask if they need tutoring help because of the math, but I enjoy it because we work through that stuff, and by the end they realize that it’s not so bad.
What advice would you give students taking classes in the English department?
It’s not as boring as you might think. As a student I thought that some English classes were boring, but I really think that the faculty here are incredibly passionate about what they teach; if you come with the mindset that you can learn something, you’ll come out with some new knowledge and insight. I’d just tell them to come with an open mindset, and come prepared to learn.
What’s the best advice that you’ve ever received?
As a child my parents got a divorce, and I became a bit of a troublemaker. My fifth grade teacher noticed some problems, took me aside, and told me that I was trying too hard to fit in; he told me to just be myself. At first I was just like yeah whatever, but that advice has always resonated with me, and I’ve always kept that close to my heart.
What might the English faculty not know about you?
I’m uncomfortable around people in costumes or mascot outfits. When I was younger my parents got someone to dress up in a chicken costume for my birthday, and I cried the whole time. Since that point I don’t like when people dress up, and when I can’t see their face, especially around Halloween; it just makes me very uncomfortable.