Since 2005, Yan Shen has taught Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. She holds a Master's degree in Sinology and Anthropology from the University of Trier in Germany, as well as a Bachelor's degree in Chinese Language and Literature from Beijing's Capital Normal University. She was born in China and spent more than two decades in Beijing. From 1993 and 2004, she taught Mandarin as a second language at Tsinghua University's International Chinese Language and Culture Center, and since 2012, she has been a qualified Oral Proficiency Tester for the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. She has presented at national and international conferences, including ACTFL and CLTA, and has published works in journals such as The Journal of Tsinghua University. For several years, she has been a reviewer for the Critical Language Scholarship Program (Chinese).