250 Essential Chinese Characters for Everyday Use: Volume 1 introduces the basic vocabulary and writing skills needed when learning Chinese. The second volume (ISBN 0-8048-3360-5) covers a further 250 essential characters. There are also two sets of flashcards, Chinese in a Flash: Volume 1 and Chinese in a Flash: Volume 2, which aid memorization and allow self-testing of character recognition.
This book not only provides ample space for writing practice, but also gives the meaning of each character, its derivation, and its components - including the radical - and provides a range of compounds and sample sentences specifically designed to increase the user's active vocabulary.
In addition to the reference and practice material, there are 25 quizzes based on each set of 10 characters learned, and 5 more substantial review sections based on every 50 characters learned. An answer key to all of this material, including the five challenging Word Puzzles, is given at the back of the book. There are also alphabetical and radical indexes for quick reference to all the characters and compounds covered.